Monday, March 1, 2010

The One With the Road Rage

Sorry... two churchy posts in a row. I promise tomorrow I will be irreverent to make up for it, but I just have to put this one out there. Yesterday our bishop (the pastor of our church) told a story that really hit me. He was getting on the freeway the other day, and as soon as he got on the on-ramp he saw that the freeway was not moving. He had about 100 feet to merge, and then he would run out of ramp. So he either had to merge or run off the road. No one would let him in, so he kind of cut someone off. After he did, he looked in his rearview mirror and saw that the person he cut off was NOT happy about it. In fact, the guy changed lanes and got next to Bishop Gregson and started shaking his fist at him and flipping him off, yelling obscenities. Bishop Gregson thought about it, and decided to try to turn away the anger with a gentle apology, and so he smiled at the man, and mouthed the words, “I’m sorry.” The funny thing is, if you know Bishop Gregson, you kind of think to yourself, that could have gone either way. He is patient, but doesn’t seem like the type to let people push him around, either. Not only that, but you should google “road rage.” You will find hundreds of pictures of people who get out of their cars and beat the daylights out of someone who cut them off.

What came next was an awkward few minutes when the freeway traffic did not move very much, and so he ended up driving alongside angry guy for some time. It was kind of embarrassing… you know what that is like... how you really don’t want to look over at this person that you have offended. But at one point he did, and the man was making motions to him to roll down his window. Bishop Gregson was a little worried about doing it… but he rolled down the window. As soon as he did, the man told him that he was so sorry for the way he had acted, and the things he had said and done. I was surprised that this story made me cry.

Bishop Gregson said that we live in an angry world. It is true. There is a lot of anger. I know, because I have people who are so angry with me that they won’t speak to me, because of things I have said or done, or because of misunderstandings, or even for things that I didn’t actually do. I have apologized, even for the things I didn’t do... but the anger is too much, and they can’t forgive... some of them for years. There is something in my emotional makeup that makes me think of those people every single day, because as long as there is someone angry with me, the world is not right. I have never really been one to hold onto anger for any length of time. I know I have plenty of faults, but on the plus side, I forgive quickly, so it is painful and hard for me to understand when others do not forgive me, because I never intentionally cause pain.

But I know that I have repented of the wrongdoings, and I also know that I can’t fix the rest ... so the Lord wants me to move on and get busy. He can’t do anything with a servant who is sitting around worrying about slights, and he can’t do anything with someone who never gets up from her knees praying for forgiveness. I love this scripture: Doctrine and Covenants 64:34. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind. I believe the willing mind leads to working hands. So, time to get to work. Time for us all to get to work. And just try to chill.

11 comments:

Cindy said...

I also appreciated his candor with sharing this story. Every meeting and lesson and all the talks were inspiring.

Cherie said...

Great post. I have seen that happen before, had it happen to me and, of course, I call people weinerhead when they drive bad - LOL.
But it is always good to forgive and move on and I what happened with the Bishop doesn't happen that often. People don't have you roll down your windows so they can tell you they are sorry. Very cool.

Momza said...

Your Bishop's experience is so rare in that the person apologized.
Boy does it give me something to think about. THanks for sharing. Really.

Cherie said...

Victoria - We did get the good weather! And it WAS so beautiful. Saturday (aka Tsunami day) was our last day. We had been there since earlier in the week :D

Small House said...

Anger is a horrible thing to hang on to. It just eats at peoples hearts and souls. It really does a number on them.

I have found I can't control when people are upset with me, or mad at me. I offer forgivenss, a smile when I see them, and the rest is up to them.

I love the scripture that you shared at the end of your post.
Have a great day.
Sandra

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Great post! And so true. There is too much anger out there. I'm glad this story had a happy ending. :)

sad but true said...

my favorite line is "it could have gone either way." I came home and wrote about his talk, too! It was such a perfect day. Bishop Carter killed it in RS, too. I sort of have a new hero.

Just ME the MOM said...

What a great post and a great example. To do the right thing even when it's hard and awkward, and you think it probably won't make any difference anyway. I am like you, I know I can't please everyone all the time. But I always feel bad FOREVER when I know I've caused any offense out there . . .

Kristin

Garden of Egan said...

Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing.

Fawn said...

I simply love this post Victoria. Thank you.

Shewinn8 said...

What a beautiful post...isn't amazing what a little bit of Christlike humility can do. I was talking to someone just this week and they were venting and intimating something I had done wrong which I felt was a little unfair and untrue, and a little voice just told me to say I was sorry anyway. So I did. I WAS sorry that they were upset and in pain so I said it genuinely and guess what...it worked like magic. They instantly calmed down and backed down from some of their claims. I know it doesn't always work but isn't it so amazing when it does? Thanks for the post and the reminder of a lesson learned.