I had a moment this week while driving my children to school that changed the course of my week. I was heading south down the highway towards town, driving about 50mph when a pick-up passed me. The driver was obviously late and since I was going a little under the speed limit, my guess is…he wasn’t thrilled to be driving behind me. As we approached town, I noticed a little head barely sticking up from the seat through the back window. I pulled up next to him at the stop light and I noticed a small child sitting beside him. He couldn’t have been more than 3 years old. His head was barely taller than the seat of the truck and he wasn’t sitting in a carseat….a HOT BUTTON for me. It pains me to see a child that cannot protect itself, not being protected by the adults responsible for them, I immediately felt myself getting angry. Then something unusual happened. I felt the Holy Spirit calm me and tell me to pray for the little child and his family.
I realized after I prayed for them that I didn’t know what their circumstances were. Maybe it was an emergency and the man had no choice but to transport the little one without a carseat. A simple prayer for their safety was a much better alternative to starting my day off angry at society and their general lack of respect for safety and rules.
I have a terrible case of Road Rage, I try whole-heartedly EVERY year particularly during Lent to work on this. I felt for the first time this week that the Holy Spirit was really helping me with this problem of mine. Today, I was at a red light and there was a truck going through the intersection, the driver was texting as he drove past me. Instead of anger, I decided to pray for the safety of him and the other drivers on the road. I can tell you that this made a remarkable difference in my mood for the rest of the day.
We all have triggers that really get us fired up. One way we can change these is by asking the Holy Spirit to guide us through these troubled situations. I often tell my kids that if they find themselves in a situation that they feel uneasy about, they should say a silent prayer; “Father, Son, Holy Spirit, guide me.” Seems like good advice, maybe I should try it 😉
When the just cry out, the Lord hears and rescues them from all distress. Psalm 34:18
I plan to keep working on my Road Rage and when other frustrations come my way, I will be turning my anger into an opportunity to pray. Not only for my own good, but for the good of God’s Kingdom and all those who do or do NOT know him intimately. I don’t expect the whole world to live according to what I think is right or wrong, but I do plan to live MY life trying to grow closer to God and to become closer to the person He created me to be. We are all simply works in progress, as long as we continue to grow, we can only become closer to God.
When you find yourself angry or frustrated with others today, please take a moment and pray. Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring you peace and understanding and pray for those who have hurt you.