Sunday, November 4, 2012

Who's Driving?

This has been a difficult week for people affected by Hurricane Sandy and my prayers go out to all who are now dealing with the aftermath. I am not aware of too many personal stories, yet know the loss  is devastating.

Milwaukee's Third Ward (from a different day in traffic)
The other day I was driving to Milwaukee during rush hour and found myself cursing out other drivers as we shared the highway. My guess is I do this often and usually do not notice my frustration being put out onto other people. Who are in the same situation, attempting to get to a destination safely, and likely just as, if not more, frustrated as me. So, as the days have passed I am realizing more the need to do breathing exercises in the car rather than allow my angst to spill onto the lives of people I do not even know. Not sure why I am writing about this when there are so many other things going on, yet it is pertinent to the spiritual life it seems. One of the questions that occurred to me was, "Would I react related in the same manner if I knew the other people driving?" Another was, "Would I respond differently whether I liked them or not?" And, finally (unfortunately not for the first time) I realized that it matters not whether I know the other people in there cars driving, or if I like them. We all are attempting to complete a task as efficiently as we can. This does not mean that we all have the same driving skills, nor do we have the same understanding of efficiency (after all some might be going slower to save gas, while others speed up to save time). My role is to hold the diversity of the road in a thoughtful space and attempt to respond through a stance of compassion. My guess is that recognizing this offers another challenge in how to live a life of love. My next guess is that it is not so easy and it seems I have stumbled upon these insights before. Maybe someday it will stick.

Geez, I was going to write about Dietrich Bonhoeffer this week, I guess the greater inspiration was in the dailiness of life and how to manage conflict. I was going to focus on the social gospel, and in some ways this does fit...just not the avenue I intended to take. Maybe next week Bonhoeffer will arise.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right Vickie! The energy behind our driving and the care for the other drivers is so important to sharing our earth. Sometimes the experience means more self-care is needed, other times it means our presence is our prayer for all humanity on the roads with us or in the dwellings we are passing.