Open Mouth…Insert Soap

Highway 97 Passing Lanes
Image by TranBC via Flickr

Everyone played games on the road. Who can irritate the other the most? Was it the car in the passing lane who deliberately drove slow next to the car in the slow lane keeping all traffic at bay? Was it the car going between exactly the speed limit to ten below who, when the lanes merged into two, deliberately cut me off when I tried to pass him in the slow lane? At that moment, I swore, “Son of a b****.”

Yes, I swore. Open mouth…insert soap.

Then, traffic began to back up. The construction crew must have missed the memo where it states you must advertise ahead of time when you are going to close a road. A large semi sped up in the cleared right lane instead of getting in line with everyone else and cut us off where the construction cones forced that lane into ours.

I wanted to swear. I wanted to get angry. I wanted revenge.

I arrived at work in a sour mood.

Not exactly the attitude of a Christian who comes on Sunday and leads a prayer group. Then, I opened an email from ‘Lead Like Jesus.’

“What would the world look like today if every person followed your example? What if the words they spoke carried the same tone and message as yours? What if their responses echoed your responses? What if their actions mimicked your actions? Would people look more like Jesus? Would relationships reflect His forgiveness and compassion? Would the world be any different?”

The intent was geared for those who don’t swear in traffic, but I read this as a reminder. What would the world look like today if every person swore at traffic and wanted revenge? What if their responses echoed your responses? What if their actions mimicked your actions? Would people look more like Jesus as they tail gate, swear, and exercise revenge against another mimicking those actions? And where would that attitude end? If everyone exacted revenge, what would it look like in our world?

It would look like it does now…people driving angry. Everyone is angry and that anger is growing exponentially.

I won’t lie. I struggle not to tail gate when people are going below the speed limit. The reminder of who I am sticks to the back of my car—a fish symbol stating to the world that I am a Christian. I am under scrutiny and people who don’t believe wait for me to fail. I won’t disappoint them. I will fail, but I pray God is glorified when I fail. I pray my reaction to my base mouth shows that I was not proud of that swear exiting my mouth. The other car couldn’t hear it. God did, and that’s what matters. The ugly, angry word pouring from my tongue reminded me that I must hold myself back and be different. Let Christ be the light in a dark world.

 Have you done this?

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