It can be a beautiful thing to drive down the road unobstructed; it leaves the mind to wander forward. What will the day bring? All of the sudden the pace is disturbed by a vehicle traveling much slower. For many, this puts the brakes on not just the vehicle, but the yellow brick road of positive thoughts as well. The euphoria of being absorbed in the potential of the day is interrupted by anger and disgust for the tortoise driving ahead. You begin fuming and even though the other driver cannot hear, the verbal onslaught begins. “Get out of my way!”
Briskly walking through the grocery store, list in hand, ready to get in and out as quickly as possible. Once again, the agitation of being halted by someone standing in the aisle or stopping in your path consumes joy. Inner thoughts filter phrases that should not pass the lips. “Can’t you move over, I am trying to pass!”
There are too many examples of how others seemingly steal our peace and joy with their lack of considering us first ... wait ... what? That is not how we are supposed to respond to others. No, it is not. We have no idea what the other person may be going through that causes them to drive a bit slower than us, or stop in an aisle blocking your path for an entire 27 seconds.
Maybe the slower driver is in fact following the speed limit. Perhaps they have just received life-changing information and are on the way to face it. You have no idea. But heaven forbid they get in your way.
The person in the aisle keeping you from a quick check-out escape from the dreaded store may be suffering from a form of mental loss and have completely gone blank of what they were after. Maybe a memory of a lost loved one struck them at just that moment.
Again, the reasons others do what they do could go on forever. Unless you have an uncanny ability to read minds, you can never know what they are dealing with.
What if these tiny delays are by God’s design? Did you pray for patience and a considerate heart towards others? Careful what you ask for, you just might get the lessons that go along with it. You don’t just acquire knowledge, you must learn it through education. Your prayer request is much the same. You ask for something, be prepared to do the work to earn it. Otherwise, you will never respect the outcome.
God also delays us to save us. As you are biting your tongue and chewing your fingernails like a typewriter trying to circumvent everyone else and what you perceive as their complete lack of consideration for you, He has potentially delayed you from racing down the road into a traffic crash.
We as a society are in such a hurry that we no longer take the time to consider others and what they may be going through in their own lives. Some are dealing with hell on earth, do they really need someone to be a jerk to them and add to the horrible encounters they have already dealt with?
Slow down and breathe. Where do you have to be so quickly you forget to consider others? If you are in that big of a time deficit, don’t go to a place where you already know your nerves and character will be challenged. Find a different time. Or, go and take in the lesson of the prayer you requested. Stop and help someone along the way. That alone may free up more time and space than you could ever imagine.
Go on, be patient and considerate of others. You can do it.
James Fansler is Lake Placid police chief. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.