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Eowyn's Heart

The name of this blog is based on the character Eowyn from Lord of the Rings because I strongly identify with her on many levels. The purpose of this blog is to proclaim the glory of my Lord and King through His work in conforming me into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus. In all things, I trust you will see His hand at work.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Attitude Adjustment

God is so good to work on us even in the "mundane" parts of life. Like driving to work. For many years, I've been a moderately aggressive driver. Although I'm not one to tailgate, I am one to exceed the speed limit - always looking for that next window of opportunity to slip in front of the next guy.

The problem with this has been two-fold. First, and most obviously, I end up speeding. I used to give myself a "5 miles over the speed-limit" rule - over time, that has grown to 15, and recently I noticed myself exceeding even that. That's actually what got me thinking about the way I drive. That and the shootings on the L.A. freeways that have been all over the news the last few months.

The second problem was my attitude towards other drivers. Knowing I am a perfectionist by nature, I always fight the inner urge to be critical of others and deliberately choose to be more critical of myself . . . except on the road. "It's the long skinny pedal on the left!" "Did we forget how to signal???" "Are you trying to get us all killed??" "Idiot!" Sadly, these sarcastic statements have actually come out of my mouth while driving - and typically for the most inconsequential infractions on "my" space. What a poor way to treat another human being. I know they don't hear it - but God does.

I don't know why today out of all days it struck me, but it did. I started to realize that the biggest problem I have in this area is pride - manifesting itself in self-centeredness. I realized that instead of constantly judging whether another person is driving in a courteous manner - I should be asking if "I" am driving in a courteous manner.

So that's what I did today both on the way to work and on the way home. I deliberately kept my mind set on analyzing my own driving and how it may affect other drivers - am I too close for their comfort? If someone were coming up this fast behind me would I be concerned? Do they need me to back off a bit and let them move into the lane I am in (as opposed to "my lane")? Am I setting a good example for other drivers to follow?

It made my drive so much different! I was more relaxed - no agitation at other drivers because I was more focused about being courteous to them than on whether they were being courteous to me. I drove slower (5-10 miles over the speed limit and sometimes *under* the speed limit!) and I noticed something. The overall speed of traffic (my excuse for going 15 miles over the speed limit) was much slower than I had thought!

Have you ever thought - "Oh, I need that exit!" and sped up to get in front of the next guy so you could get over - sometimes cutting it a bit close? Try slowing down instead. I think sometimes we forget that we CAN slow down. We take to the road like we're in competition to get where we're going before the next guy gets where he's going - or we see other vehicles on the road as obstacles to getting where we're going rather than people going about their daily lives with just as much right to be on that piece of pavement as anybody else. I also think that sometimes we forget that people can't read our minds. We don't have our blinker on so the guy behind us just sits close enough to our tail that we can't move over - or worse, he/she speeds up and takes the opening we had been planning on - and we get frustrated. Or when we do have our blinker on and the guy/gal does the same thing, we forget that we can slow down and pull in behind them and that maybe they just don't see the signal flashing.

Yeah, there's idiots out there - I've almost been killed by some (the guy on his cell phone who decided he wanted to be in the exact space I was then occupying! . . . He never did realize I had to slam on my brakes - still chatting away after the accident was so slimly avoided). But that's NOT the majority of drivers and we (me and anybody like me) need to consider others more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).

3 Comments:

Blogger Mark said...

I've realized just how bad I am about that since I started having a passenger in my car full time. Those comments I used to make to myself alone are now made outloud.

In my defense, I see some truly bad driving, however. "Rush hour" in town is not something to take lightly.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Josh Hicks said...

I can certainly relate...

7:15 AM  
Anonymous mom said...

Boy, do I love it when God work's on you!

9:45 AM  

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