I feel massive driving my minivan around town… Its BIG! So much bigger than all the kiddos riding their lil bikes around town. There’s power, just in its size alone. It would seem as though driving around town, would cause kids to slow down and yield to its passing.
But they don’t.
Being so big and powerful, and proven to cause death in a multitude of ways, there are laws in place to protect both bystanders and drivers; laws working their best to protect all involved out there on the road. Since deaths still occur, more often than we’d hope, the law can only protect us so far. We have to play a part, and work together, as best we can, to decrease the number of incidents.
This morning, even though I had no yield sign, stop sign, or traffic light, a couple was attempting to cross the boulevard, expecting me to stop for them. They weren’t in a cross walk. I slowed down when I saw them, and eventually stopped when I realized they were going to keep walking. They felt entitled to cross in the middle of no where, and just smiled at me as they walked in front of my car.
When they had passed, I smiled and continued on my way.
Funny how that’s possible. Back in the day, I used to have quite the road rage… Back in the day I would have been swearing, honking, rolling down my window to make sure they heard some colorful words… Back in the day I might not have slowed, and would have played a little ‘chicken’ with them, to prove I had the right of way.
Back in the day, I would have justified that I was right. They were illegally crossing the street, and they were somewhat hidden by boulevard shrubbery. I didn’t have to slow down or stop for them to cross. Back in the day….
But today? With 3 kids in the car, on the way to pick up a 4th for summer school? I slowed down. Because, honestly? The power isn’t really held by my massively large vehicle. Its held by me.
The power is in my respect for people. All people. The power is in my discernment. Discernment learned over years of education, discipline, structure, and fighting to be honest. The power is in my ability to slow down and think before I act…
We’re not real slow to speak or act anymore, are we? We fight. It’s our first and last instinct. My first few years of parenting were a huge challenge for me. I couldn’t slow down enough to see the things I needed to see, before reacting to an unfortunate situation.
Over time, I was convicted, by none but the Holy Spirit’s power, that I need to slow down a bit. I was missing things. Mostly, I was missing things about myself.
You see. It was nice that I slowed down and smiled back at that couple this morning. It was a good thing I did….for them. But really, it was a good thing I did for me. Spending some time reading about how God wants me to act and be everyday, is life changing. And apparently not just for me. I just need to focus on applying what I’m reading, to my life. Having recently read and been reminded that I can be better, I’m convicted and challenged daily, that as an adult I can still learn and grow. I can be kind. I don’t always have to prove that I’m right. This is a hard one for me, and I’m still trying to get the hang of it. I’m trying, and struggling. I haven’t perfected it, yet.
Believe me. Ask my Husband..
But I need to. I need to get better at it. I have no excuse. I need to get better at applying what I’m reading, and apply it at every turn. Why? Because the Holy word of God, that I believe to be inerrantly true, told me so.
Slowing down our words and actions, is represented so many times in the bible, I had to take it as important. I read the verses, and the verses and chapters around them. It was clear. I needed to reprogram my brain to think differently. I think many of us do.
Here is just a handful:
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.
He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we would be kind of firstfruits of His creation. 19My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires…
Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
That James 1:18-20 is a big one… We are to be His firstfruits. His new creation, not like the rest of the world. We are to represent HIS creation. We can’t do that if we keep fighting the way we are… We’re not set apart the way we are acting. We’re blending in to all the maddness. Let’s be different. Let’s slow down like the word says. Let’s let the word change who we are. Let’s start being HIS new creation.
Now, for those of you that took the time to read this, thank you! First person to be out on the road, about to let someone have it, but stopped and said “Ugh. But Kathryn said!” gets a prize 🙂 Just let me know! 🙂