…and then he pulled a gun on me

*After you read this, check out part 2 of the story here*

Yesterday was an eventful day, and the most notable was when I was exiting the interstate and noticed the car behind me swerving as if he was in a real hurry to get around me. The exit breaks into two lanes so I wasn’t too worried about it, knowing in a second he’d veer to my left side to take that lane. But no, that wasn’t good enough for him. He swerved out to the right, passing me on the outside shoulder of the road. Classy. Here’s a video.

Sadly, behavior like this is not totally out of the ordinary for people suffering from road rage. I take it personally, and that’s on me. So with this guy, I wasn’t going to just lay down. I pulled in front of him, as you can see in the video, and when he moved to go around me, I jerked my car over to block him. He then attempts to go around me on the other side, so I checked him on that side, though, I didn’t move in front of him.

Around the 0:24 mark is when he pulls up beside me. I was giving him a sarcastic thumbs up as he approached. When I glanced over, he wasn’t holding up a thumb to me, it was a gun. As soon as it registered in my brain, I flinched pretty hard. In the video, this moment happens just after 0:24 when I swerve into the turn lane. He slowed down and I kept going, and it was over.

Wow. This was an intense moment that took a while to come down from. I clearly should’ve let it go way before it got to that level, I mean, this could’ve changed the rest of my life. He would be so stupid to have actually used his gun, but there are plenty of stupid people in the world, and he very easily could’ve pulled the trigger. He’s already familiar with how it feels to be a low life, so why would I assume he has any sense at all?

I’m thankful nothing worse happened, and I’ll definitely be thinking twice the next time I feel like it’s my duty to antagonize someone like this.

-Out of the Wilderness

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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

Selfies on the Highway

I’m learning more and more every day that driving– just being able to sit behind the wheel, put it in gear, and go somewhere– is a privilege. I mean, think about it: we’re moving these thousand-pound machines around at hundreds of feet per second. Just guess how many things can go wrong at any given moment… I’d say at least 10! And then you have so many other people on the road with those same odds of something going wrong at any moment. Plus 16-year-olds are allowed to do this, too? It’s surprising there aren’t more accidents. I’m not surprised, though, that my car has quite a few dings, dents, and cracks. But as long as the damage is to the body of the car and not to my body, I consider that a win. I mean, isn’t one of the selling points of a car how well it protects against injury? I guess what I’m also saying is, with that in mind, it’s a privilege to drive and I don’t want to make it super easy to test out the safety features of my car by taking “selfies” while I’m cruising down the highway.
driving