Published June 28, 2011
It was a simple drive home from work. Traffic seemed a bit busy from the start. In fact, within that first mile of travel, I knew it was much more than usual rush hour traffic.
As I sat, "parked" on the roadway, the traffic report came on the radio. I finally understood.
One major area highway had two tractor trailers involved in an accident. Traffic was being diverted to a road near our offices. Some of that traffic was obviously on the same road I was traveling.
The report continued with an overturned car on another major highway. Traffic from there was being diverted directly onto the road where I was parked also. Cars that normally would have gotten on the highway had to remain on my road since entry ramps were blocked.
So began the stop-and-start and sometimes stop-and-wait drive home. As I passed by cars going the opposite direction, I began to look into the faces.
Some people looked bored. This was an unexpected delay, but there was nothing they could do about it.
Some looked anxious. What was ahead?
One was very agitated -- and animated -- as she spoke on her cell phone.
There were some that became angry and would veer out of traffic trying to get a look ahead to see if they could pass slower vehicles. It was soon apparent, even to them, that the vehicles ahead were all slower vehicles and there was nowhere to go.
I tried a smile to see if it would work. Reaction was mixed.
Most ignored me totally. I was an unwelcome distraction while they were facing an unexpected and unwanted problem.
Some looked at me like I was crazy. Wasn't I sitting in stopped traffic like they were? Why would I be smiling? Did I even know them?
A very few people did respond with a genuine smile. They were in an unwelcome situation but making the best of it. They were keeping their perspective on the delay and keeping a handle on their emotions.
How do we face those delays in life? They will come to each one of us. Our reactions could well be a test of how deep our Christianity really goes.
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