A tractor trailer driver had been losing patience with young men on race bikes and cars. He often spoke about them to anyone who would listen. He talked on and on of how inconsiderate, selfish, and dangerous they were.
One particularly hot afternoon the air conditioning in his cab began to struggle to keep up. He noticed two bikers racing on the freeway behind him, coming up quickly. Neither wore helmets or protective clothing, and seemed to care nothing for the cars they swerved around. He was certain he would see an accident soon.
Not long after he was passed by the screaming bikes, he saw brake lights ahead and knew it was likely because of a wreck. Shaking his head, he strained to see which lane the slowdown seemed to be the worst in. A motorhome appeared to be sideways, blocking multiple lanes. After long minutes sitting in the hot cab of the truck and finally moving past the blocked lanes, he grumbled to see there was no bike upturned or in front of the motorhome.
The cause of the accident must have been the racing bikers, he decided. As he passed the motorhome and saw the injured woman sobbing inside her vehicle he fumed. The woman could have been killed. He pictured the woman trying to avoid hitting them as they swerved in front of her and recklessly cut into her lane with nowhere to go. He was certain the scenario could not be far off. Off the exit ahead, he saw the bikes parked at a gas station.
On impulse, he gunned the engine and hurtled toward the bikes and the gas station. Maybe he would put some fear into these young idiots, he thought to himself. The two bikes were parked illegally and away from other vehicles. They were conveniently mostly out of view, he noticed. He planned a maneuver that would put his truck bed into the two bikes while appearing innocently distracted with the radio. As they were parked illegally, he may not even have responsibility for the accident at all, he grinned.
Moments later the two bikes lay on their side with bent frames and an impressive amount of damage for a tiny ‘bump’ as he called it in his mind. He drove off quickly, feeling quite empowered as his vigilante justice seemed unnoticed by anyone around. Back on the highway, traffic slowed and he noticed a small kit car coming up too quickly for traffic. He felt his anger rise again, this was outrageous behavior and had to be stopped.
Emboldened by his recent activity, he prepared for the driver to cross in front of him. The kit car driver was coming up beside him, as he knew would happen. Before the driver could fully move into his lane he sped up, catching the rear tail and trunk. The car swerved and ricocheted against a moving van, hitting its wheel and causing it to swerve right into the tractor trailer. His eyes met the terrified passenger’s eyes and suddenly he felt cold. If only he had let the car through…
Moral of the Story:
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
In Matthew 2:15 the anger of Herod demonstrates how irrational anger can be, how it once kindled becomes a fire hard to control or put out. Matthew used ‘exceeding wroth’ which conjures in my mind an epic tornado twisting through the land and destroying everything in its path. In this story I described road rage, a common problem with unfortunate consequences.
Anger is something I struggle with, for I am well aware of what not to do, but that temper is so tempting! It would certainly solve the problem at hand by causing fear and respect, or that is the temptation whispered. As I think over significant times where I had to have a self-imposed ‘Mommy Time-out’ I can see it will probably happen again.
I love my child and my stepchildren very deeply. My son, in his innocence, has no idea how much I think of him and what I sacrifice for him. His focus is his wants, and they don’t coincide with Mommy’s instructions very well. Too many times I have asked forgiveness for chosen words or actions in anger. Every time I think I can be the parent I expect to be, I find myself lacking. As with everything, I must submit my will to God or succumb to the temptations I wish to avoid.