Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Maybe They Have a Fish

My name's Melissa and I have road rage.

 There, I said it!  It's not the dangerous kind, I'm a very safe driver.  I'm just the kind of driver that likes to get to where I'm going as quick as possible and I get very frustrated when people don't drive the speed limit, or come to a total stop in order to turn a corner.  I didn't realize the depth of my problem until my young children starting telling me to "just go around them, mom!" Talk about a wake up call!  

A couple years ago, we were given a goldfish from a friend and we attempted to drive home while my son held the fish in a fish bowl full of water. Suddenly, I found myself driving 20 miles per hour and stopping before every turn.  The kids thought it funny that I was apologizing to all the cars around me for being one of those annoying drivers.  I had already been working on my road rage, so I took the opportunity for an object lesson. 

 "Maybe I should be more understanding of other drivers. Maybe they have a good reason for driving so slow.  Maybe they have car trouble, or they aren't feeling well and want to be safe, maybe they have food sliding around in the trunk for a party, or maybe, just maybe they might have a fish."  We finished our trip home, the goldfish safe and sound, Peter only slightly wet.  Object lessons are necessary in raising children, but I often don't know if what I've said impacted them or not.  

Several weeks later I was driving somewhere with the kids and we found ourselves behind the slowest driver in town (you know who you are!) and I failed in my mission to be an understanding driver.  I began complaining about this driver and how we were never going to get to our destination.  

Right in the middle of my rant, Peter pipes up from the back seat,"Maybe they have a fish." Silence.  

As I fought back laughter and tears I was humbly reminded by a 10 year old pastor in training that I need to remember the fish. Quit judging, quit complaining. I don't know everyone's situation, I have no right to get angry just because I feel inconvenienced.  What a selfish brat I am. 

Lord, help us to love.  Help us to not be so quick to judge when we have no clue what's going on.  Remind us that you call us to serve, not to take. Help us let go of what we think our rights should be.  Help us remember the fish.

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