Yesterday on our way to meet my mom for lunch, I almost caused an accident. I'd say the cause was 25% impatience, 75% ignorance. I had forgotten that just after the on-ramp near town, there was a change in the traffic pattern. I don't drive it that often. The two vehicles in front of me were slowing down getting onto the highway and I couldn't understand why, so as soon as I had the dotted line, I pulled out into the other lane to get up to highway speed. I had not able to see anything, because the front vehicle was a big dump truck and there were no signs indicating a change in the traffic pattern. Anyway, I was going along just fine for a few seconds, then realized that those two cars had their turn signals on to get into the same lane. I panicked a little and then stopped to let the big truck in, as he slammed on his breaks to keep from hitting the lane-change markers. Now that I think about it, I'm still confused about how it all happened and I know I should not have stopped. But anyway, the truck guy just waited for me to keep going, honking at me as I headed on my way, of course. I would have done the same. Then about five minutes later when he passed me, he made sure to get in another honk. (Thankfully, he got of the highway not long after so we didn't have to travel "together" any longer!)
I really felt bad. I did not intend to make anyone angry or give them that heart attack feeling you get when you think you're about to have an accident. But I couldn't apologize to the other drivers, I just hoped they would extend me some grace.
These kinds of experiences really throw me for a loop, because there's nothing I can do to redeem myself in a stranger's eyes, which reveals the good-reputation-idol in my heart. I imagined that poor trucker telling stories about me for the rest of the day and me not being there to defend myself! Often on days like this, I would be incapable of shaking that sinking feeling all day. I was interrupted by grace by how the experience did not color my day. The Lord helped me to share the experience with my mom briefly and move on. And in the moments when my guilty fears crept up to the surface, He helped me to keep them in check
I'm also immensely thankful that the Good Lord saved me and the other drivers from an accident. Accidents are so very inconvenient, aren't they?
Needless to say, when I get back on that highway as I have plans to for this coming Saturday, I'm going to take my good old time!
Have a great afternoon. We've got some sunshine here that I'm hoping we can get out to enjoy!