I am convinced that God allowed us super-smart humans to come up with how to make an automobile in order that we would learn to be more Christ like.
This morning I was just a teensy bit late for school. I knew it was going to be a rough drive when I pulled onto 395 and the cars were backed up behind the on ramp. I had a lane I could drive in for a while if I wanted to be a real jerk and pass a bunch of stopped cars, but I put my blinker on and slowed down with the intention of being courteous and finding my place in the long line of stopped cars.
There was an opening, so I veered my little Honda's front into it and then glanced back to give the driver behind me a "thanks" wave when I see that she is glaring at me, like I totally just cut her off. This makes me a little irritated, but I try to forget it.
We inch forward and then stop. Inch, stop. I decide to get over in the fast lane because hello its supposed to be faster; and the second I get over I see brake lights. Just in the fast lane. The slow lane now seems to be going at a jealously continuous five miles an hour, while the fast line is stopped dead.
Tap tap tap. My thumb drums the steering wheel as I look at the clock. I have a ways to go before I get to school, then there is the dilemma and joy of parking, and then the long walk to class which always leaves my armpits sweaty and-if I have sleeves on-noticeably wet.
I see Mrs. Glare zoom past me in the slow lane, sucking on a cigarette, still glaring. Her bad mood makes me want to be happy; to be anything but like her.
Twenty minutes and two exits later I can get off the freeway. As my car leaves the long line of very agitated people in their big cars I let out a "Who-hoo!" and press my foot to the gas. I'm cruising now and will make it to class just in time.
But then I turn the corner. And what do I see? A long line of red break lights staring at me, that's what I see! But seriously, I was not thinking of children's' books at the time, I was thinking, omygosh that is a long line.
For whatever reason, I think Ms. Glare had a lot to do with it, I am determined not let this spoil my ride to work. As we barely inch along, I get comfortable. I put in U2's Greatest Hits of the eighty and ninety's, and crack the window for some air. I start bobbing back and forth, not too much because we are all moving so slow and people would notice, but I bounce a little to the music. I notice the people in the cars around me are really mad: everyone is on their cell phone, heads are in hands, the look of death is on everyone's face. Every so often a car screeches out of the line to turn around and head up Virginia Street, hoping to find a better way. I stay put, turn up the music.
I am so proud of myself for being so darn positive in midst of all this madness until I glance at my gas gauge and see the little pointer all the way at the bottom, in the red.
I stop bouncing and let myself freak out a little: What f I run out of gas? What if my car won't move, and then all these people are going to be really mad--at me? I work out all the logistics: where I will walk to call Joey, how I will just leave my car like a big lump of metal in the midst of these extremely unstable people, the things they will yell at me as I walk away from the car. I prepare myself.
Thinking of my car breaking down reminds me of this jeep that was broken down yesterday, right in the middle of a long line of traffic waiting to turn left. There was like thirty of us, mostly with out blinkers on indicating we intended to turn left, who were forcibly not in the turn lane because the jeep was in our way. But we were all waiting. Patiently. For that green arrow. With our blinkers on.
Pretty soon I see it: Miss Subaru zooming past all thirty of us waiting to turn left, wiggling into the left turn lane behind the broken down jeep, its yellow lights flashing. When she finally realizes what is going on, she too, put her head in her hands.
I think, smart move, lady.
But do you know where my car was? Right in the position to let her in. OHHHH HOW I HATE THIS. I force myself not to press on the gas when the arrow turns green so that she can wiggle her little self back out. I even force a little wave like, "common honey, everything is going to be alright" when on the inside I am screaming, how stupid do you have to be?
So she pulls in front of me and zooms through the yellow arrow while I press on the break, come to a stop, and think about all this.
I specifically think how doing that good deed did not give me warm fuzzy feelings. Then I think about Jesus and how he could care less about warm fuzzy feelings because he cares about people. I definitely am more for the warm fuzzy feelings, but Jesus would have not only let her in, He would have been just fine chill'en at that red arrow, even if it were for the sixth time, while I was almost hyperventilating. Because to Him time wasn't so important, but people were.
Maybe too that thought is what had carried over into the crazy traffic the next morning, until I realized I could run out of gas at any moment. So like I said, I freaked out a little, but then I remembered yesterday and the woman in the Subaru, and how Jesus was always telling his disciples to please, chill out: on the boat in the storm; in the crowds of very hungry people with no food; at the wedding with no wine. Over and over again, in not so many words: Chill out people! I got this one. I love you. I'll take care of you always.
So I decided if I did run out of gas, Jesus had me covered. I turned up the music, bounced a little, and inched my way in the middle of a long long of cars that from Jesus' point of view probably looked like a very cool Chinese dragon.