Sunday, June 29, 2014

You could just change lanes quietly, ya know...

"the teacher with the student"
1 Chronicles 25:8

Well today was an adventure!  My daughter had her first behind-the-wheel lesson today.  I went too, as I was curious about the instructor, and slightly uncomfortable with the idea of my girl driving off with a stranger, and because I'm passionate and possibly the teeniest bit of a control freak when it comes to my kids.

Just for the record, I don't plan on accompanying her on all of her behind-the-wheel lessons, just this one.

It was an uneventful journey, which is exactly what one hopes for when one's child is behind the wheel for the first time.  She was cautious at first, but as she gained a little confidence, she pressed on the gas more purposefully, and followed instructions more quickly.  She didn't make any U-turns, and she didn't back up, but she did just about everything else:  parallel park, perpendicular park, residential driving, and around town a little bit.

But here's the thing ~ and it shocked me.  When we were driving around town, she was behind a bus for awhile and when the bus stopped to pick up passengers, she of course was caught behind it.  The instructor encouraged her to just go around it.  There was room to stay in our lane and still go around the bus, but it was tight, so she did it very carefully, and I guess a little too slowly, because suddenly the car behind us leaned on their horn.  Honked!  At a car that has Student Driver written in big letters on the back!

I turned around to see the person who would do that, just in time to see the car pull out from behind us, and change lanes to go around us.  The driver was a middle-aged woman who glared at us angrily as she went on her way. 

I wasn't mad at her, even though she honked at my baby girl.  And that's progress for me.  After all, don't we all turn into momma bears when someone threatens our cub?

As we continued on our way, and the instructor told my daughter to just disregard rude people, I started thinking about a few occasions in my life where I've been treated similarly.  I remember particularly, driving in Utah several years ago to visit my sister.  It was winter, and it was snowing on the canyon road that leads to her house.  I don't have a lot of experience driving in the snow, so I was staying in the right lane, and driving cautiously.  There weren't a lot of cars on that road so it wasn't a big deal, but all of a sudden a car came up fast behind me, tailgated me for a few minutes, and then went quickly and recklessly around me.   Then he hastily changed lanes again, getting in front of us ~ a little too closely for my comfort.

It didn't really faze me; I'd been driving for long enough to know that every driver is different, and that I lean toward cautious, and that I'm not gonna be pressured by someone else.  That driver might have been fully competent and confident, but I was not.  I was new at it, and liable to over-correct, possibly getting into an accident.

I made the decision that day to make sure I never pressure another in similar situations.  Just because I'm comfortable under a set of given circumstances, doesn't mean everyone is going to be.

And it's not just about driving.  We can be too confident in a lot of areas that might prove to be detrimental to someone else.  Especially when it comes to salvation.  A cavalier attitude about sin, just because you're sure of your salvation, can cause someone else to swerve.  Proceed with caution, and pray for others in your path.

~ "beware lest somehow this liberty of yours
     become a stumbling block to those who are weak" ~
1 Corinthians 8:9

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