Yesterday I had to give my daughter a ride to pick up her car which has been in the shop for the better part of two weeks. I’ve been playing chauffer to her and her son for three weeks straight now because of a rash of car problems. Yesterday’s round trip pick up/drop off took me the better part of two hours due to heavy Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. Driving in rush hour freeway traffic ranks right up there on the top of my “Things I hate to do list;” right behind root canals, mammograms and a colonoscopy. Although at least with a colonoscopy they give you drugs, so there is that.
Sitting in traffic got me thinking about the thousands of miles and hours I’ve logged dropping off and picking up my three children (and now my grandson) over the course of the last couple of decades. Obviously there must be some sort of chauffer clause in the fine print of every woman’s birth certificate that stipulates that we will be required to transport offspring and their assorted entourages whether it’s convenient for us or not. At least until the DMV declares you’re too shriveled up from Osteoporosis and you’re deemed too short to see over the steering wheel.
Yesterday I had a close call and near accident as I narrowly escaped being rear-ended by a bone-headed teenager talking on a cell phone. It was at that point that I was able to debunk a common myth regarding Christianity. The myth that Christians never get angry or never lose their temper was irrefutably in fact, proven to be false. I let loose with a slew of verbal vomit that rivaled that of a Walmart shopper who’s just had their black Friday big screen TV wrestled away from them by a senior citizen with an oxygen tank and a cane.
Every time I get behind the wheel of a car I can feel my Christianity slowly slipping away. Why is it that navigating our way through heavy traffic can bring out the worst in us and cause most of us to act decidedly “unchristian?”
Maybe it’s just me but I can’t help but feel my Christian witness disintegrate the second another car cuts me off in traffic. Yesterday’s incident reminded me that my Christian witness could be instantly replaced with more than the temptation to spew forth some sort of guttersnipe trash talk. I’m relieved I didn’t give in to the urge to resort to vulgar hand gestures. Christian or not — when you factor in rush hour traffic mingled with a busy Christmas season – well that’s quite simply a marriage of disaster idling at every busy intersection. In retrospect, I am grateful that my car bears a logo advertising my church on the back windshield. Otherwise there’s no telling just how violent or vulgar I could become behind the wheel.
An automobile is little more than a rolling death trap and has the potential for life-altering harm, which is why I find myself so easily flustered at stupid drivers. (I’m sure that any mother who has ever handed over her keys to a newly licensed 16-year-old would agree with me.) It’s for that very reason that I feel the need to pray without ceasing whenever I drive. Well, I pray without ceasing when I’m not trash talking the “stupid jerk that doesn’t have a clue about how to change lanes!” or screaming at the blue-haired granny in front of me that is afraid to drive more than 20 mph. “Geez, it’s a freeway — not a school zone! It’s the big #@%! pedal on the right, Grandma!”
In order to dial down the crazy bouncing around in my head like little errant silver balls in a pinball machine, I wanted to come home and dive into a bottle of Moscato yesterday …but in lieu of the fact that I’ve logged so many chauffeuring experiences lately – well that has the potential for escalating into a serious alcohol addiction. I considered opting for my other favorite “go-to stress reliever” which is diving into a tub of chocolate icing right from the can, but that of course would eventually lead to excess weight gain which compounds the crazy bouncing around in my head. ~SIGH ~ somehow diving into a tub of Greek yogurt and granola doesn’t hold the same stress-reducing properties as Moscato or chocolate frosting.
If I’m doing the math correctly then in the long run the more drop off and pick up rides I have to give to my children will equal more yogurt and granola I’ll be forced to eat — which eventually equals better health and perhaps weight loss. Perhaps some would argue acting as chauffer is, in fact, actually good for me. So in the end it’s really just about the math. … which is yet another reason why I’ve always hated math …