When I was a child I witnessed a scene that impacted me so much that it stayed in my memory up to this day. On the way to the airport we had to drive through a huge and congested roundabout that received cars from four large avenues.
A car got stuck in the middle of the roundabout and while its driver intensely tried al manners to make it work, a sea of cars accumulated behind him. The driver immediately behind him got so angry with the delay that begun to honk madly. The driver of the damaged car got out of the car and came to the driver behind him and calmly told him: “here is the key of my car; you go and try to make it work while I stay here beeping the horn”.
For several motives we get so frustrated with other people that sometimes we would like to run them over. In the New Testament however the apostle Paul tells us not to focus so much on ourselves but look at others with sympathy. Jesus went beyond and told us to avoid detaining ourselves on the small mistakes of others while bypassing our own big ones.
There is no way to avoid the congested roundabout of life, we must go through it and face all sorts of people and situations. Sometimes other people block our progress, other times we are the ones to block the advancement of others.
The reality is that our anger with others and their anger with us won’t improve the ride for anyone. The ride is always as efective and calm as our willingness to step out of our car and help the stranded one, knowing that maybe next time it will be us stuck over there. Maybe the best is to stop honking, rolled up our sleeve, and help to push the blocking car.
(Paul’s advice, Philippians 2:3-5 – Jesus’ advice, Mathew 7:3-5).