Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Greater Power

Folks, I have a confession to make. I can honestly say that what I am going to tell you only happens once in a blue moon. I am ashamed to admit it but, when my guard is down, a nasty little demon named "Temper" pays a visit. He arrives, uninvited, presses my "buttons" and tries to see how long he can hang around and how much damage he can do before he is given a swift kick and sent packing. He knows just what sets me off and what can cause me to exhibit some truly bad behavior. He is a really nasty fellow, that one!

Temper had not been around for quite awhile. This past weekend, however, he caught me during a weak moment and seized the opportunity to try and cause some trouble. He almost succeeded and probably would have, had there not been some intervention. I have put a lot of thought into what occurred and I now realize that, had it not been for someone who loves me very much, the situation might not have ended as well as it did.

Here is what happened. Last Saturday, my friend and I were riding on a road on the busy south-side of Aiken, with me behind the wheel.  I will not be naming my dear friend, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, she might be deemed "guilty by association." Another reason is that I do not wish that she should experience any more embarrassment or mortification because of anything I might have done or had thoughts of doing in the situation I am about to relay. The two of us were heading for the nail salon for a relaxing pedicure. What a shame the pedicure didn't happen before the "horn-blowing incident!"  My fuse probably would not have ignited so quickly.

Yes, it was a car horn. That is, a man blowing the horn at me, that set me off. I had pulled up to a busy intersection and stopped at the red light in the left turn lane. I sat there, patiently waiting for the arrow to turn green, so I could go on to our appointment. Meanwhile, a man in a Big Bad Black Pick-Up Truck pulled up behind us. If you haven't guessed, I describe the truck in this manner because maybe the truck is an excuse for his aggressive behavior. Just as I got the green arrow, a man in yet another pick-up pulled into my path from the road that crossed in front of me. He had been waiting to make a left turn, perpendicular to me, and had decided to proceed with his turn, even though his light was now red. To be more specific, he ran a red light in front of my vehicle. That is nothing unusual, people sometimes do it. It is dangerous, but some people don't mind taking chances. The point is, it took that vehicle a second or two to clear my path. Immediately after he cleared my path, I proceeded to make a left turn and the man behind me honked his horn. Surely, he had been waiting to see the green arrow so that he could blow at me, because it had not been green any more than a couple of seconds, just long enough for the other driver to get out of my way. I felt certain he had noticed us, two women, sitting in front of him. Yes, we had been talking as we waited and he probably noticed that as well. I was paying close attention to my driving and had seen the green arrow the moment it came on. Surely, he could not have missed the other fellow going on red and turning in front of me. To me, it was obvious he had planned to blow the moment the light changed. I had all of these thoughts and some more.

I am not someone you would consider to be a "Women's Libber." In fact, some people would think me just the opposite. If there are men readers among you, I hope not to offend, but did you know that some men feel that women are inferior drivers? There are tons of jokes about that subject. Now, I am, in no way, inferring that women drive any better than men but, you may have noted that it was both a man who impatiently honked the horn at me and a man who ran the red light in front of me.  It could have, just as well, been women drivers but, in this instance, it was two men.

Now, this is going to sound like more flap about men drivers. It was also a highly intoxicated man who, many years ago, ran a stop sign at a high rate of speed. The vehicle he was driving struck me, broad-sided, almost killing me. As a result, I was hospitalized for some three weeks. I suffered from crushing injuries to my pelvis on both sides, a broken collar bone, breaks and lacerations on both my hands and bruises and cuts over my body. Thankfully, I lived to tell about it, but I also live with some of the long-term effects of that incident. Perhaps, this is why I strive to be a more careful and defensive driver.

Obviously, the man who blew his horn at me has had no such learning experience. Nevertheless, his rude behavior and attitude should not have affected me the way it did and it usually does not. For some reason, I was offended and angry. I was feeling and wanting to do all the things that I have been quick to point out to my husband NOT to do under similar circumstances.

We both proceeded on with our turn and I got into the right lane. He jumped into the left lane and sped around me. As is usually the case, we came to the next red light at the same time. In other words, being impatient got him nowhere, fast. I was really indignant and I wanted him to look at me, but he would not. This man and the poor woman sitting in the cab of the truck with him were probably about my age. We all should have known better! She showed an obvious embarrassment at his behavior. At the next red light, he would not even pull up beside me, but stayed about half a car length back, so I could not see him. I really wanted the satisfaction of showing him my discontent and was trying to look at him in my side mirror.

Then, I looked over at my sweet friend. She is laughing, but she is also ducking down in the car. I'm not sure if this was out of embarrassment from being seen with a crazed woman or out of fear that there might be a gun in the other vehicle and that someone might decide to use it! These things have been known to happen.

I caught the eye of the woman in my side mirror and, I do not remember raising it, but my hand went up. No, folks, I did not make an obscene gesture. It was at this point, my Lord and Savior took control of the situation. I did not realize it at that moment, but it was Divine Intervention. Smiling, I began to waive at her. At first, she just sat there, in apparent disbelief. Not one to give up easily, I kept on waiving. Would you believe, she broke into a smile and began to waive back? She really did!  Seeing what was happening, the man leaned over  toward the middle of  the seat. I kept smiling and waived at him, too. He smiled, pulled up a little, and began to waive back at me.

I do not know what their thoughts were at that point, but the couple might well have been left wondering whether they actually knew me. Then again, they might have thought I was just a raving lunatic. I would prefer to think that we both received a lesson in patience and humility. Whatever their thoughts and feelings about me, the point is that an explosive situation was diffused. Mind you, not because of my magnetic personality and not because of my amazing forethought and perception, but because of a power much greater my own.

My sweet friend and I later laughed about the incident. She said she has only seen me act that way once before. That was in the office where we both worked when I was taking up for someone.  She did not say so, but I fear she might never go any where with me again. Can you blame her?

I am sharing this incident with you because we all know that there is the presence of temptation in this world. It is all around us, like my temptation to give in to that ugly old demon, Temper. Temptation comes in all forms and can cause us to act in ways not pleasing to God.  I  love my Lord and I know He loves me. He knows all my weaknesses and He watches over me, even when I am too weak, self-righteous and stubborn to take care of myself. He is a Mighty Power!