Yesterday, I was driving up Florida Ave, going to turn right onto 12th. You know, right in between Carl’s Jr and AutoZone. I was behind one car as we came up to 12th. It looked like the driver was going to turn right as well because he (I don’t know if it was a he or she, so let’s just say he) pulled to the right side of the road. But, to my utter amazement and surprise, he turned on his left turn blinker.
He’s going to turn LEFT onto 12th… from the right side of the road? I thought.
I instantly began to put this driver into a number of categories (which is a nice way to say I started calling him names in my head).
And in my mind, I suddenly felt like this driver was purposely doing something TO ME. He was blocking me from turning right. He was inconveniencing me. He was doing to me what he probably does to everyone else in his life.
It’s amazing all of the stories you can make up about someone else while you’re slowly inching closer and closer to their bumper, trying to send a message.
He finally turned left and I was able to turn right. End of story. Except…
I couldn’t stop thinking about what had just happened. I quickly let go of whatever was going on with that other driver and kept reflecting on what was going on inside of me.
Tim!! Is this how you want to respond every time something or someone inconveniences you? Were any of the stories you made up in your head in that moment actually true?
I wasn’t reflecting over and over on the situation to beat myself up. I was just very aware that my response to the situation was, pretty much, the exact opposite of the kind of person I want to be. And it was because of the story I was telling myself the whole time. I came to the conclusion that the situation would have created a much different type of response, if, in that moment I told myself a different story. A story that sounds something like this:
Tim, in this moment, you are the light of the world. Those around you will know that you walk with God by the way you love. You have a chance, in each and every situation, to not look out for your own needs, but to look out for the needs of others. You’re really blessed if you’re a peacemaker. You can live with peace in your heart because God has already overcome everything the world may throw at you.
We all respond differently in a crisis. This is due in large part to the stories we listen to and the stories we tell ourselves. The challenge for each of us is to choose the right kind of story. That’s why I’m filling my mind with every positive thing I can get my hands on right now (check out powerofpositivesummit.com). I’m also leaning heavily on a story of faith instead of a story of fear.
I hope this encourages you today. I also hope it challenges you. Our greatest growth comes as we walk through difficulties. The really cool part (for me, and hopefully for you) is that we get to walk through this together. I’m glad we’re all on the same team!
And…if you’re ever turning left onto 12th from Florida…it’s okay to move to the middle of the road. Plenty of room 🙂
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