Road Rage Philippians 2:3
Praying over the city at Caribou Coffee (757 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN).
October 1, 2018 · Saint Paul ·
Today’s prayers are from a new location. Nina’s is STILL under construction. I think the two-week plan is now at four and when I passed, it does NOT look close to being complete. In town, we call this locale The Bou. It’s how we designated this Caribou from the other one about a mile to the west on Grand Avenue. It’s a popular spot with the folks around here, but right now, I’m still missing the vibe of Nina’s.
You’ve heard of Road Rage, right? And yes, I’m prone, just like many others, of yelling in my car telling others what I believe they should know or do. All that gets turned up a notch when I’m cruising around without the comfort of a ton of metal around me. Bike Rage is real—and unlike in a car, when I yell out to the other drivers, my tone, tenure, and antics are NOT muffled by any glass surrounding me.
Today, I was pumping it to make the light at Summit and Dale. When you’re biking, timing lights, or trying to, is even more important than in a car. It takes a lot of energy with pedals to get the momentum to a cruising speed. I could tell I was just going to make the light and a car taking a left pulled right in front of me, then braked for the jogger also crossing the street. I almost hit him, and then yelled out, ‘WHAT THE HELL?!?!?’
Yeah, not one of my best moments, but truly, I don’t think he saw me at all—and that’s freaking dangerous. Just another half-mile up, two drivers pulled into the bike lane to take a right at the stop sign. This means they passed me and then cut me off causing me to stop behind them, which means the other drivers ahead don’t see me which is dangerously scary for a biker or pull to the left where they should have been to pass. I chose the latter.
In the end, I’m fine, and thankfully, most of this is just minor annoyances, BUT as I’m peddling around, I ponder about how this reflects our journey through life AND my own selfish nature. When I’m taking time to YELL at these drivers or even to cuss them under my breath, it’s because I want them to give me the right of way. That somehow, what I am doing, should be considered more important than what they have going on.
Now, granted, given they are in a car and I am on a bike, they should concede to the safety of those on or near the road without metal surrounding us; however, many times in the process, I expect them to see me, to know what I’m thinking or where I am going, and to make allowances for that. That is simply not realistic and it’s a pattern I have in my real life too. This underlying expectation that people around me should know my intent, my needs, and act accordingly.
The irony is, when I’m in the car, I notice that I’ve done these horrible things to other bikers and pedestrians. Cut in front of them—not seeing them—not allowing them the right of way. Since I’ve been in their shoes, or saddle (HA!), I yell from inside my glass, “So sorry…” But still, it reflects me, being in me, focused solely on my direction.
Today, after the two events above, as I crested for the touring part of my ride along the remaining stately homes of Summit, I realized that much of this road rage is due to vulnerability. I am forced to trust the other drivers on the road and I cannot control the outcome. I must put that in God’s hands.
Ultimately then, the safest way for me to proceed is to take the focus off me and put the focus on them. What are they doing? Where are they going? Are they here in this moment? Or is their mind elsewhere? AND…and…and…what can I do to make this journey safer and better for both of us? It is only through taking the focus off me and putting it on others that I can get through life (and my rides) with the success, safety, and joy God intended.
Philippians 2:3 (ESV) Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Oh man, do I need that perspective every minute, every day.
Dearest Heavenly Father, I am not the only one you placed on a path. People are all over Your world getting somewhere. Some realize they are doing it for You. Others may not yet, but regardless, the way we can get this to work in Your will is to take the focus off us and place it on You and those around us. They matter to you too. We all do and can only make this a success when we work together and consider other people’s needs. Please be ever present with us to consider others first. In Your Mighty and Holy name…
Please bring your prayer requests forward. I love you and you are with me.