Does Road Rage Reveal Character?

I stopped at the post office the other day on my way to work.  I signaled that I was about to turn left into the small parking lot with it’s five crowded parking spaces. I don’t like that parking lot. There have been numerous vehicle wrecks there including a terrible accident that left four people dead.

Vaguely, I noticed a dark SUV in the parking space adjacent to the one I was pulling into. As I turned my wheel, I noticed the headlights come on. The vehicle was no longer in park. Surely, the driver would look behind her.

“It’s too late for me to turn back! There might be oncoming traffic,” I worried.

The driver did not stop.   She whipped into reverse and backed out quickly-right in my path. No time for prayer, I swerved to miss hitting her. Thankfully, I was able to maneuver around her and pull in safely while she continued onto the main road.

For an instant, I struggled with a bit of annoyance and pushed it out of my mind. I noticed the dark haired driver out of the corner of my eye, but I avoided eye contact. I had a lot on my agenda for the day and I did not want a confrontation. I really wanted to have a good day. I even hoped I might get to bless someone before the day was over.

To my angst, I saw the driver stop on the road and pull back in. Oh, no! I wasn’t going to be able to avoid her. o-ROAD-RAGE-facebook


Reluctantly, I got out and stepped toward her car which was between me and the post office door.  I met her eyes with a small smile as the middle aged woman rolled down the automatic window of her passenger door.

I was surprised to see that she was smiling. “I just wanted to say I’m sorry for pulling right in front of you.” She said. ” I didn’t even see you. I’m sorry. ”

Wow. Just like that- the annoyance and dread I’d briefly entertained was gone. I meant it when I offered a warm smile and answered, “That’s okay.”

I don’t know that lady and I haven’t seen her since, but I’ll tell you that her behavior and simple apology revealed volumes to me about her character that day. As I think about my own actions, I hope my own Christian example was a good one. I wouldn’t want a chance encounter of road rage, whether or not it was my fault, to shed a negative light on what it means to be a follower of Christ.

” In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15, NIV, The Holy Bible




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