Stop and go traffic is not uncommon at any time, on any day, when one travels a busy motorway in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, called Wadsworth Blvd. Friday afternoons can present stressful driving conditions with traffic congestion. During one Friday this past summer, I learned a lesson in letting go of a situation, letting God take control and relaxing in the fact that indeed there is a funny side to most things in life.
I was moving at a snail’s pace and had given myself plenty of time in order to deal calmly with the line of break lights I knew would greet me along my path. I’ve traveled the Denver Metro Area all my life and I learned a long time ago the clock is only my friend when I don’t try to challenge Father Time with excuses for why I couldn’t leave room for possible (probable) delays.
I sat in line with other cars waiting for the light to turn and allow traffic to move a few yards forward and heard the screech of brakes. When I looked in my rear-view mirror I saw an SUV skid to a stop just inches from the rear of my car. With my eyes fixed on the car and realizing I was almost in an accident, I let my breath out between clinched teeth and said some words that could not qualify as a prayer of gratitude.
The driver of the SUV shook her fist and waved her arms at me as if I was sitting there in traffic, stopped behind dozens of other cars, in order to personally cause her a delay. Although I am always happy to see another Italian individual waving arms in wild gestures of self expression (a trait we Italian people are famous for – with good reason), I was pretty sure this lady wasn’t attempting to relate to me from an ethnic identity corner.
My own Italian-Irish temper began to infuse my thought pattern as I became more annoyed with her hand signals and horn honking. I’ve seen, and been the victim of, out of control road raging. I’ve learned there is nothing I can do to make it better, but tons of stuff I can do to make it worse. So I sat in my car, kept my eyes on the driver behind me, my own hands (prone to return gesture engagement) and prayed for temper control. I also asked God for a temporary case of lockjaw if she got out of her car and came toward me.
I prayed out loud, “Lord, please intervene and use something, anything, to return me to my previously serene mindset.”
As the traffic crawled forward, the driver in the SUV decided we weren’t moving fast enough and took matters into her hands. She swung around my right back bumper, missing it by inches, and put her foot down hard on the accelerator of her vehicle as she traveled the right turn lane for several blocks. When she passed me, she showed me the lovely manicure she had on only one finger of her left hand and shouted something I’m glad I couldn’t hear. As she sped past I saw a sign in her back window. It read, “Please drive with care – baby on board.”
I burst out laughing and thanked God for his impeccable comic relief timing. I also petitioned Him to keep me from thinking, “Baby on board indeed – behind the wheel.” Okay, I admit I did think that.
As I made my way to my meeting, I continued thanking God that even in the most irritating situations, if I turn to Him in prayer for deliverance, He will show up without fail. He has my backside and, in this case, my car’s backside. He chose to use something that can usually pull me out of a situation where I can make things worse. He used His glorious sense of humor.
Copyright September 10, 2018
Laura L. Padgett
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Check out the books I have published:
“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and all major online retailers.
“Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.