What, the Christian Car Guy struggles with Road Rage? I’m afraid so, my kids my wife would share that I often find myself raging, not just at other drivers, but a few weeks ago at a seating hostess in a restaurant, lines at stores or amusements parks. Clearly a problem and at its heart a spiritual one, right. As John instructed in 1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.“
Night before last I was taking the long drive home alone from caring for my father, there was a 20 mile stretch of road where the speed limited is 45 at times 50 and fairly curvy so there is no place to pass on the whole stretch, the driver ahead of me was apparently struggling with all that and driving about 30-35 sometimes 25. The driver behind me was tailgating me closer than I think I have ever seen, he could not have been centimeters off my rear bumper. The further we went the madder I got, sandwiched in, trapped by, (in my raging spirit) an idiot in front of me and a maniac behind me.
At the light right before the end of that stretch the maniac jumps the curb to the right couldn’t have missed the side of my car by milometers and passes both of us then with a screech of his tires turns right. This freaks out the car ahead who now travels even slower and I was not tailgating this guy trying to give him or her space to think and speed up, to no avail!
Finally the road turns and goes to two lanes and I floored it coming up on their bumper and passed on the left probably going 60. As I came to the light down the road a bit I came to my senses, like the prodigal, “What is going on inside of me? Why am I so furious Lord? That could have been a 15 year old driving with their dad and I just peer pressured them into going faster than they should possibly or scared the be-gee-bees out of some older driver.”
All that could have gone to shame but the Holy Spirit grabbed me and said why don’t we check under the hood tomorrow morning when you are rested. The next morning in my prayer time The Holy Spirit, Jesus and I took all that up again. I heard a Becoming Good Soil Podcast this week that talked about Jesus clearing the temple and the verses right after indicate that once the Riff Raff was cleared out of the temple there was room for those who needed healing. Matthew 21: 13-14 13“And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.”
This week I had also read in ‘Shattered Dreams’ by Larry Crabb that as your heart is now the temple, Jesus wants to clear it of all the idolatry so He can come and heal it. More than a coincidence don’t you think. So I asked Jesus to clear out my heart of my need to be get where I am going timely or safely and look at the “Larger Story, The Kingdom” in all this, where is my heart broken that is giving access to Satan and all this warfare?
I went to the place where I meet with Jesus in my heart and asked Him and He told me clearly. So clearly that I wrote it down. “It’s irrational, but you think that the drivers or hostesses are slowing you down on purpose, they are trying to hurt you and make you mad.” That is exactly it! I could not have expressed it but that is what I was feeling, “They are doing this on purpose to make me mad!”.
So I asked Jesus where that was coming from, and he reminded me of that young place, and how my little brother used to slow me down on purpose to make me mad, and one time I got so furious I started beating him and my older sister broke it up screaming, “you are a maniac, your insane!”
There it was, the agreement I had bought that lie many years ago and several similar incidents came to mind with the message, “they are doing this on purpose to make you mad and I’m a maniac, I have a horrible temper.” That was the little boy, little Robby that is still there, when that happens to me I feel like I’m nine years old all over again”.
The Holy Spirit guided me right to that broken place and Jesus came in to heal, yes I needed to forgive, my brother, my sister, myself and break those agreements, but oh the comfort, the still waters, I felt Jesus restore my soul.
Now the question is out there, will it help the next time? I don’t know, I am prepared to continue to break the agreements and hopefully see my fellow drivers as my brothers whom I can love and pray for and be courteous anyway I can, my guess is Jesus has me where I need Him desperately; to live life abundantly, for without Him I can do NOTHING!