What Are You Racing Toward?
A couple days ago, I was driving to meet my parents for lunch when one car ahead of me almost sideswiped the car in the next lane. I almost honked to alert them to the danger, but it was so surreal, I found myself just watching, stunned. We had just come from a red light, so most likely no one would've been hurt, but the second car would've been badly messed up. We're talking... these people just decided to drive into the other lane without looking at all.
Well clearly not looking before changing lanes is Bad Driving 101. But what came next is what I found really interesting.
The woman in the nearly-sideswiped car didn't even honk. She just pulled as far to the right as she could, and pretty much stopped her car. But then a few seconds later, as if everything that'd just happened suddenly registered, she lost it. Like, really. I watched as she flew up to the other car, seemed to yell something through her window (and I'm guessing it wasn't "let's go to Krispy Kreme for some chocolate frosted"), and then she sped around them and cut them off! When they tried to change lanes and slow down to get away from her, she did it again. All down the road, she kept zipping through traffic and slowing down just so she could cut them off.
Meanwhile, I'm just ambling along at a usual pace, and I ended up passing both of them.
This whole thing got me thinking. 1) Don't change lanes without looking because that makes people very, very mad. 2) where we put our focus determines what we race toward.
I am sure both of those people had places to go and things to do. They started at the red light at the same place as me-- on a normal journey to their destination. But somewhere along the way, something happened. Someone got angry. Bitter. Distracted. Pretty soon, all either car could think about was the other person. How they didn't deserve the way that person had treated them. How frustrated they were.
And the irony is, all this obsession with the near-accident got them nowhere. Literally and figuratively. And here I come along, like the tortoise in the race, passing them all.
We all get sideswiped sometimes. We don't like to admit it, but it happens. It's part of life. Things come in our lane as we're going about our merry way, and they try to wreck us. It's what we do with the near wrecks that matter. Do we let them consume us? Do we dart through traffic just to cut those people off and prove a point? Or do we keep blazing ahead with our eyes on the finish line?
Hebrews 12:1-3 in The Message says it this way:
Do you see what this means-- all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running--and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed--that exhilarating finish in and with God--he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourself flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
I hope you're encouraged today to keep running the race, no matter what might get in your way. Oh, and look twice before changing lanes! :)