Road Rage—Up Close & Personal

TrafficRoad Rage—Up Close & Personal … It was a mistake—I knew it when it happened. But it would save time. I had to change lanes or miss my turn. So I pulled in front of a fast-moving truck and turned the wheel to enter a parking lot, barely missing a collision.

The person blasted his horn, and a quick glance in my rearview mirror told me what I didn’t want to know—he had followed me into the parking lot. When I parked, the driver stopped directly behind my car, blocking the way out.

I stepped out of my vehicle to face a scowling young man in the driver’s seat with a couple of his buddies, all directing fury my way. He shouted, “What do you think you’re doing pulling in front of me like that?”  If rage could be charted, it would be in the red danger zone. My heart pounded in fear, and I was afraid it could turn violent.

Then I remember two lessons I had learned—one was from the Bible. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) The other teaching—“people like to hear a sincere apology.”

So I answered as sweetly and gently as I could, “I apologize. Will you forgive me?”

The response was gruff but positive, “I guess so.” And then he drove off.

Relief coursed through me—my heart slowly resumed its normal pace.

God’s Word and his lessons proved to be the answer against road rage, and wow, am I thankful. (o:

~ Karen Gaus ~

Karen Gaus, Author & Speaker

4 thoughts on “Road Rage—Up Close & Personal

  1. You have always been a sweetheart, how could anyone not forgive you,the girl with the beautiful smile and sweetness in your voice. You have always been a true reflection of God and his Love Love ya Sheila

  2. There’s another lesson here: We’ve got to be more careful in this life. People are injured and die from stupid mistakes such as this one. We are not of the world but in it. And we must, to remain safer, for our families, be willing to go the extra mile if that is what it takes to be safer. We’ve also got to slow down. Traffic accidents alone are spiking in these last two months. No rain, no ice, clear blue skies (in DFW) and accidents are spiking all over the place. Last night a man with a family rode his bike 11 miles each way from Grand Prairie because he was a bike enthusiast (choice) and coming home on the access road to the George Bush Turnpike was killed when a driver doing nothing wrong killed him. Two lives changed in an instant. As much his fault for his passion (or choice) as the young woman who hit him unable to see him.

    I had a fender bender Friday. My choice to get a sonic soda on the way to work and in bumper to bumper traffic on a side street ran into a woman not paying attention on her cell phone. I should have allowed 2 car spaces (lengths) between us but only let 1/2 because I too was in a hurry. Monday taking my dog to the groomer, something I’ve done for 11 years without incident, someone cut me off unexpectedly (I was in the right lane) and I had to hit my brakes. My 14 year old rescued standard poodle flew from the back compartment to the front passenger leg area loosing 3 teeth and injured badly. Scared and hurt as I picked her up she bit me deep in three places on one finger. And though she is recuperating at home now its been another $400 not budgeted and she on major pain medications to heal (we hope) over time.

    The thing is, we all have more time than money and I’m not sure we are the best witness for blending in the world and of it sometimes – especially in traffic. There are something like 3 million more people driving DFW now than ten years ago. I believe it. And I’ve started to notice more all the cars/trucks/suv’s with wrecked doors, hoods, and rear ends. I’m noticing more chain reactions on the freeway and giving more space to the drivers in front and beside me. And I’ve learned the hard way at mine and my sweet dogs expense to slow down, make sure she has a seat belt and we get there late or doubling back if we miss an exit or a turn because our lives are more precious than whatever time we think we are loosing missing a turn or cut off in traffic.

    We’ve got to be wiser in the way we live and though I’m grateful the Lord intervened through your action (and mine) you could have just as easily been assaulted or killed because you missed your turn and turned in front of a truck that hit you. Or you could have been assaulted in the parking lot. We’ve just got to be wiser in the way we live and more aware of our surroundings.

    Final story: My insurance agent. Said he was in San Antonio meeting with a client in what was a rougher part of town. They could have had coffee anywhere but not knowing really where he was he pulled into the Denny’s, got out of his car and turned back to see a Hispanic family pull up in an SUV with the window sticker decal “Who says crime doesn’t pay.” The man, assisting an older woman out said to him “What are you looking at?” He hesitated. The man said it again. God gifted him to say “the guy in the street doing construction.” He looked and the man was pointing a handgun at his chest. The man said “good answer.” He was able to go inside and nearly collapsed. A cop inside asked what was wrong. The agent told him. He said “You are lucky Mister. That man is with MS13, a gang from Latin America and this is their turf. They shoot people for fun. His lesson or conclusion was not being to dense he did not know where he was any longer. He learned to be more aware and cautious. And that too is our lesson. Or we pay a different consequence. Yes, away from here and with the Lord. Hopefully fast. But the pain it leaves behind to family, friends, children, parents, and all because we were either oblivious or could not miss our exit.

    If we are to be effective in the kingdom we’ve got to be as wise as foxes and gentle as doves. I congratulate you for asking for forgiveness. Just know you were very lucky on top of blessed. People do stupid things all the time. Not talking of you but those who are the rage aggressors. A man with a wife and child a few years ago on 183 did that getting off for gas. He unidentified man behind shot and killed him from a passing moving vehicle. And was never caught.

    We just have to be wiser.

    • Yes. We need to be wise. This road rage experience was twenty-five years ago in a safe part of Austin in the middle of the day. Things are getting more & more scary. I sure learned a lesson that day. Hopefully, our young people will take a word of warning from you. I know I am wiser now. (o:

      Thank you!

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