It is commonly accepted as a standard driving courtesy, and on some highways a traffic law, that slower drivers take the right lane, not the left. I once referred to this particular annoyance as one of my pet peeves but have decided that I do not want to have peeves for pets, so now I call it an occasional irritation. One that reeeaaaalllyyy irritates me.
I don’t think of myself as a fast driver yet that is exactly how my granddaughter describes me: “Momma, Granny always drives fast!” I choose to view myself as a driver with purpose. I have a plan and a schedule and I would appreciate it if all the other drivers on the road would accommodate me. I suppose they have their own plans and schedules but can they possibly be as important as mine?
Those who know me very well no longer take offense at the fact that I never see them when we meet on the road. Never. Once I enter the confines of my vehicle, I am in my own little world. My focus is on where I am going and what I have to do. I must admit, however, that I occasionally get so caught up in this little world of mine that I lose focus as I zone out, becoming oblivious to my own driving speed. Yes, it’s true, sometimes I AM that slow driver in the left lane. Thinking only of myself, I can become completely inconsiderate of the person who is riding my back bumper in the hopes that I will notice their grill in my rear view mirror and from a few, the inappropriate hand gestures they’ve been making for the last five miles. I’ve often thought I need a small, hand-held sign that could quickly be displayed in the window directed at the one I have just offended that simply read “Sorry!!” Surely that would make all their anger dissipate if they simply knew it was an oops on my part and I was sorry…
This morning as I was impatiently stuck in the left lane behind yet another pesky slow driver, God says “This is what you do spiritually, too, you know.” Ugh. Yes, Lord, I do. I get impatient with those who are not moving at the same speed as I am. I zone out, thinking only of myself, and pass them as soon as I can. I give no thought to the road they are on and what their destination may be, acting as if mine is more important. I often move through entire weeks without even noticing there are others on this road. Different speeds, different destinations, different needs, same God.
…keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints… Ephesians 6:18
Pretty hard to offer any intercession for my sisters and brothers in Christ if I am not paying attention to them…
Unlike driving behind a slow driver on the highway, when we encounter those who are traveling this spiritual life at a different pace than ourselves, it is an opportunity to enjoy their pace and learn from it. We may have to slow down to see what they see and hear what they hear. We may need to speed up to join them in the next revelation of our God. Our unwillingness to move at their speed very often is shown in our impatience. We want to offer a quick “Sorry!” with the expectation that they will surely understand we have no time to stop….
But if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is brought to completion – to its full maturity, runs its full course, and is perfected – in us! 1 John 4:12
This love He’s poured into us can only be perfected as we share it with one another. Even those who are driving slow in the left lane.