Wednesday, May 9, 2012
On driving as a spiritual discipline...
And I thought about that--the "us vs. them" factor. As it turns out, driving can become a spiritual discipline.
I remember being a teenager in a car with friends and making fun of someone's dilapidated hoopty as we drove down the road. Immediately, I felt bad about it. After all, the person who was driving the vehicle (if it could be called that) was probably doing so because they had to. It wasn't a choice. So, after that incident, each time I saw a vehicle like that I started praying for those drivers--that God would bless them with a better and more reliable car. (I still do this.)
What I didn't expect is that somehow, the act of praying for drivers over their vehicles bled into other areas of my driving.
There is something about thinking kind thoughts for the other drivers that removes the "us vs. them" context of a commute. Thinking thoughts like "may you be safe...may you be happy...may you be healthy..." for those outside of our car acknowledges that we are driving on the road with people who are just like us--each with their own time pressures and agenda that often conflict with our own.
Changing the way we see the other drivers can transform a commute. Not only making it less stressful but also making it more kind. (And I'm pretty sure most commutes could use a little more kindness.)