I was leaving the dentist yesterday after having my teeth cleaned. Driving toward my next appointment I was happy. There were no new cavities in need of repair and my mouth felt great. I was celebrating on the side road of a busy intersection waiting to turn left. Experience told me that the light would change quickly because the road doesn’t have much traffic. You have to be on the ball to make it through.
I was surprised when the signal turned green and the oncoming car didn’t move. Inside was a young woman who looked to be in her late thirties. I couldn’t tell what she was doing, but it appeared that she was just sitting there, staring straight ahead.
Now, I am not against giving a quick toot from behind to get someone moving. Still, I try to use my horn sparingly when driving in town. I hate it when someone honks at me. I wasn’t in a hurry, so this time I decided to silently wait.
Eventually she became aware that the light had changed and went through in time for me to make my turn. As I watched her pass by I couldn’t help but wonder; what had caused the delay? Was she sneaking a peak at her phone messages or her e-mail? Or was she listening to a favorite song on the radio? Perhaps she was thinking about her next destination. Was she lost in worry because her child was having trouble at school? Perhaps she had received some troubling news about a loved one’s health or her marriage? Maybe she was daydreaming about an upcoming vacation? The fact is, I did not know.
So instead of honking I said a prayer. A prayer that I say for other drivers too. Drivers who are dangerously speeding by me, or driving exceptionally slow. Those who are frantic or who don’t take their turn at the stop sign. People in cars that are old or all beat up and obviously need to be replaced. “Lord bless them, whatever that means.”.
Every day we have a choice as to how we will respond. In a car, at the store, in a meeting, or at home, we get to choose. Will we let others raise our blood pressure or cause us to silently curse perceived offenders under our breath for things we have also done? (Believe me, I have). Will we become offended, taking their actions personally when they have absolutely nothing to do with us? Or will we speak forth blessings as Jesus has called us to do?
I can’t see into the hearts or the lives of others. Sometimes not even those that I know really well. One thing I know for certain is that Jesus can. He knows every hope, every sorrow, every need and every joy. He wants us to be patient and not to judge. He wants us to bless one another. This for their benefit and our own.
Ephesians 4:2 NKJV 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
Colossians 3:13 NKJV bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Mathew 7:1 KJV Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Note- I love this week’s picture. It is a gift bag given to me by a friend, and the trivet I got for Christmas from my Sis!