My family and I were on our way home from a beautiful week at the south shore of Lake Tahoe. It had been a long drive, but it was time to get some gas and use the facilities. We stopped, we gassed, we used the facilities, and then we were back in the van. As I turned out of the gas station lot, I gently poked the nose of my van out into the lane just slightly and waved at the car to my left – my way of saying “You good with me swinging in here real quick when we get a green light?” I saw a wave from behind the tinted glass. Honest truth – I saw a wave. When the light turned green I swung out with confidence and got ready to turn right to get back on the freeway. As I turned into traffic we all heard a loud screeching of tires. Aleta and I said, “Wow the guy behind us has some bald tires.” But as I came to a stop at the stop-light my daughter Cassidy said from the back seat, “Um dad, this guy is like right on our tail.” I still didn’t think too much of it because I thought he’d waved at me to approve of me being in front of him. So I turned right and got onto the freeway on ramp. About as soon as I took off, this guy lit up his tires and started to come after us getting dangerously close to our back bumper as we got up to speed to merge on the freeway. I thought, “What is happening!?” So we merged onto the freeway and this 4o-something man, raced by us so that he could practice pointing his middle finger in the air for us. I’m thankful that it wasn’t worse than that, but it was weird!!
Being flipped off was my reminder of how broken this world really is. Really – someone is going to get that mad because I honestly thought he was okay with me being one car ahead of him!? Really – you’re going to risk your life, the life of my family, and even the condition of your own car just because you were a little irked and you had no intention of letting me move in ahead of you!? Sadly the answer was “yes” and “yes.” I wish I could come back from 3 weeks of vacation to find the world a little safer, people becoming a little kinder, the mission of the church I serve grew a little more impassioned about it’s reason for being, my staff fixing all the problems while I was gone, and having 0 rather than over 200 emails to answer. But the reality is I come back from a great time of rest and renewal to a world that is still very broken. People still are flying into dangerous rages over the smallest things. The mission of my church is still moving forward at an incremental, rather than leaping, pace. So I re-enter the work, like all of us who love Jesus, fully depending on Him and working with Him toward His ultimate goal of “making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) Happy Monday readers!