Driving by the Golden Rule

In church today we discussed the meaning of the parable Jesus uses in Mark 4, which says in part, “By the measure you use, it will be measured and added to you.” To translate, it’s the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

I didn’t feel convicted until I thought about my experience on the road. Not necessarily how I drive, but my attitude while I’m driving. I’m very decisive (totally opposite of how I am normally, which is quirky), and in turn I expect every other driver to be decisive, too.

With that in mind, here’s the catch: I don’t extend much grace or forgiveness to any other drivers, but I expect it in full from them.

Basically I act like I’m right you’re wrong, and if you can’t make a decision just get out of the way. I also get angry, anxious, impatient, perturbed, fed up when motorists think laws don’t apply to them. I’m very legalistic when it comes to obeying the rules of the road. Check out Steve McQueen here…

In the moments following this Hell’s Angel’s disregard for the law, nothing I thought about was very Golden Rulish.

So now I have something to work on while I’m in the car. Extending grace. Forgiving these inferior drivers. Not honking so much. Hitting the brakes to let someone make up for their idiotic decision.

I know there’s a place for administering justice and correction, so I guess I can be praying for discretion and discernment on which battles to fight, and which to let go.

-Out of the Wilderness

I promise I’m not a confrontational person… usually

I am a pretty passive person, I’ll admit. I’m not one to confront people and I’m ok with that. But when I see folks being lazy at the wheel or breaking laws on the road, sometimes the monster comes out. Maybe on the flag football field, soccer field, or basketball court, too, but we won’t get into that right now ūüôā

Today I was in my own neighborhood going a little less than the speed limit (which is 35 on the particular road where this incident occurred) and this flippin’ fart sniffer just had to go around me. What ticked me off even more is where I found him a couple minutes later… take a look:

Yeah, this ding dong was in such a hurry to get to church! Way to go, Seabiscuit. I was as nice as I could be when I told him not to drive like that through my neighborhood. He was quiet for about 2 seconds then said, “…OK,” and drove off.

What a booger munch.

-Out of the Wilderness

5 reasons drivers can’t just chhiiiilllllllllllll

If you live in a big city (think Atlanta, NYC, Los Angeles, etc), you probably already know exactly how this blog is gonna go. Traffic is the worst, right? Afternoon rush hour has turned into afternoon rush afternoon here in Nashville. Especially if you throw rain into the mix, or, ya know, just the threat of gentle spring shower. FREAK OUT!
Excited Freak Out GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
And don’t try to pick up bread and milk at a grocery story, because the shelves will already be empty! But there’s more to the traffic problem and no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than just precipitation. Here in Nashville, we have the problems a lot of growing cities have: construction (some say the state bird is the crane), school zones, plus¬†area¬†population growing by more than 100 people per day.

Cranes, cranes, and more cranes! (credit: Nathan Morgan – Nashville Business Journal)

My top 5 reasons traffic is¬†the way it is…

Bumper to Bumper the avenue was packed.
-Vanilla Ice

1. Construction. If you¬†visit downtown Nashville anytime between 8am and forever, you’re going to get stuck behind 30 cars,¬†a dump truck, and a lane that’s closed off.

2. Population growth. As mentioned, the population is¬†growing by over 100 a day. Most are¬†folks moving here, so I guess some are babies being born. They don’t account for the bad traffic, but give it 16 years and watch out.

3. Weather. Lots of this makes lots of traffic.

4. Hello road rage. People are angry. When bottlenecks, slowdowns, and stupidity happen on the road, people get mad. Mad people make quick decisions. This often leads to mistakes. I give you, Exhibit A. Watch the dark sports car in the far left lane. This accident was caused by a dump truck abruptly slowing down for no apparent reason.

People making decisions out of sheer rage can often lead to even more traffic problems. This also leads directly into the next cause…

5. People think rules don’t apply to them.

These drivers might not directly cause bad traffic, but when their driving leads to wrecks, police involvement, or when they cut ahead of people, traffic is affected.

So here are the takeaways:
1. Everyone just needs to chhillllllllllll. It’s all gonna be OK.

2. Stop moving to Nashville. It’s not that great and the traffic is horrible. ūüėČ

3. If you live in a city or town where traffic gets bad, leave earlier than you originally planned.

-Out of the Wilderness

Bad drivers and my dramatic experience with one

I came across another driver in Nashville that thought he owned the road. It wasn’t this guy, though:

¬†NERD ALERT: It was me! I’m actually pretty embarrassed by what I did. I’ve decided to punish myself by exposing my mistake to the world. I’ll explain more after you see the dash cam video, here:
¬†Explanation: When I’m driving, I can be a bit short-tempered. I don’t have a high tolerance for people who are indecisive, make the wrong decisions, or¬†mess with¬†my agenda in any way. It’s a fault, I know. I’m working on it, and that’s mostly why I decided to upload my embarrassing act on YouTube; to publicly shame myself. As you can see in the video, the lady in front of me needed to change lanes. I assumed she was about to miss¬†a left turn and didn’t want to simply go down to the light and make her way back properly. So I let her have it, laying on the horn for nearly 5 full seconds!

Who does that?

Then, to ice the cake, I decided to pull out ahead of her. That’ll teach her a lesson! I did so, as you saw in the video, and very quickly realized the reason she was stopped: the third lane was being used as street parking! I was so embarrassed and full of shame.¬†Instead of teaching her a lesson, I got schooled on being a jerk, judging too quickly, and acting like a real idiot. Ironically, the song playing on my stereo was GNR “Patience.”¬†What scares me about this: I wasn’t even mad,¬†so this must be habit. Ayiyiyiyiyiyiyiyi I need to change!

Whoever you were, lady driver on West End, I’m sorry. I was wrong and I know that.
-Out of the Wilderness

The Relevance of Cuss Words

A few nights ago I comically confessed to my parents, and other family together for the holidays, that my brother and I used to have cussing sprees on the golf course behind our house in Aquia Harbor. Oh, and he wasn’t present when I spilled the secret but I assumed he wouldn’t mind. Sorry if this throws a wrench in your style, bro! It’s not that there wasn’t anything else to do in Stafford, Virginia. I guess we were going through some sort of rebellious phase even at the young age of early high school (my brother) and middle school (me). I can’t remember what compelled us to start using profanity, but we’d leave the house, walk up the hill and through the small amount of woods separating us from the 4th hole tee, and let the foul words rip.

swear-words2So now I’m a taddle tail. Sue me. It’s not as if my parents could ground me. “I’m a grown man!” I don’t think they’d ground my brother either. The most trouble he can get in is explaining this to his church! Yes, he’s a pastor. But if anyone in his congregation is reading this, cut him some slack! He was a young whipper-snapper just trying to navigate high school life while trying to be as cool as his younger, middle school brother. Or so I assume. At some point we grew tired of our trips outside so we stopped. At this point in the story one of my sister interjects, “Was the only reason you stopped because we moved?” How dare she! But maybe. Either way, we turned from our evil ways and became wholesome again. It might have had something to do with the time I said the ‘s’ word in front of my dad. He was reading the newspaper while my brother and I were talking nearby. Somehow the curse word slipped out and I immediately jerked my head towards my dad, assuming he was going to ground me for life. He didn’t flinch at all. Are parents really able to tune children out that well? Amazing. And I was thankful for it that day.

I’m all grown up and can now say cuss words are more relevant to me, only because I know when they are appropriate to use. On the golf course as a middle schooler was completely out of context (because I wasn’t actually playing golf, anyway). ¬†But am I the only one¬†that thinks in the right scenario, certain words just work better? And by “right scenario” I mean “in traffic with bad drivers,” and more specifically, drivers in the south.

-Out of the Wilderness