Friday, November 8, 2013
On Standing Firm to the End
This morning, on my way to work, I was behind an SUV that was traveling at erratic speeds and slowing way down to sometimes 15-20 miles below the speed limit. Since we were on a 2-lane highway in morning rush hour, this was causing quite a backup behind us. I checked in front of the SUV and found there was a huge gap between him and the truck in front of him so I waited for my chance to pass him. When that time came, I signaled and started the pass. As I approached him, he sped up and kept speeding to keep me from passing him, but when I slowed down to try to get back behind him, he slowed down as well and wouldn't let me back into the lane. By this time, a car was coming head-on toward me. I looked over at the SUV driver, trying to get him to let me move somewhere and he was laughing at me as though he was actually hoping to cause me to hit head-on with the oncoming traffic. I made a split-second decision to cause an accident with him instead so I lurched my car in front of him in such a way that he would have been forced to broadside the passenger side of my vehicle. When he saw that, he backed right off. But once we were back into the swing of traffic, he rode my vehicle's rear bumper as close as he could, obviously trying to intimidate me further.
To be honest, I was stunned by this driver's behavior and obvious enjoyment of putting me in such danger, and his clear delight in seeing the fear on my face. The sheer evil of that moment and that person was overwhelming. I can tell you that my thoughts of that person were anything but kind and compassionate. I found myself fantasizing about having supernatural powers (like Samantha Stevens on Bewitched) where I could wiggle my nose and cause all four of his tires to blow out and then his brakes to seize up and his engine to explode.
When I got to work, it took several hours for my heart to dislodge itself from my throat and my heart rate to return to normal. I sat down and thanked God for saving me from that man and the accident he wanted to cause for me. I asked God to forgive me the all-out hatred I had in my heart for that man I'd never met -- and, yes, I hated that man with everything in me, much to my surprise. And I asked God what it was he wanted me to learn from that experience, besides the obvious, that the world is full of jerks.
Immediately Matthew 24:12-13 came to mind: Jesus is talking in this passage about what the signs will be of the "End of the Age" (or the end times.). Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
I guess, what I fear more than mean, evil people who delight in my destruction, is becoming one of those believers whose love will grow cold. Today was a good reminder of how easy it can be to become one of those (and how justified I might feel in being one of those).
Don't let me become of of those.
A world without loving believers would be a world full of people like today's SUV driver. And that, my friend, is Hell.