I was driving to work the other morning, about 6:30 a.m. or so. It was a two-way street with only one lane going each way, and even though there was nobody behind me for miles, a small sports car felt the need to pull right out in front of me.
Now, I’m normally a calm person, but I have sort of a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde thing when I’m driving.
“C’mon, are you kidding me?”
“Wow, can you drive ANY slower, dude?”
“Were you sick the day they talked about turn signals in driving school?”
So I thought, “Sports car, ok, he’s in a hurry.” Ha, wrong. He was driving 10 miles under the speed limit.
I’ve never understood that. UNDER the speed limit? What the heck, dude, why would anyone drive that slow?
I was so mad I sped up to get as close to his back bumper as I felt comfortable, and was glaring at him in his side-view mirror.
There was a part of me that always thinks, “Seriously, bro? You think that man is gonna give two cares about you STARING at him?”
Yet I continued, narrowing my vision and memorizing his facial features.
I’m trying to make this story at least mildly amusing, but I was very angry.
Then I heard a voice in the back of my mind, so loud it was almost audible.
“Let off the gas…”
So I start freaking arguing with this voice, man.
“You don’t understand! He cut me off! He’s driving 10 miles UNDER the speed limit and he’ll probably make me clock in later than what I wanted!”
But it persisted. “Let off the gas…”
“FINE, whatever,” I huffed to nobody (or was it God?) and eased off the gas pedal, while still keeping up the death stare as if I had a gun and he was sighted in.
“Lower your sights,” the voice continued.
I understood the reference, having taken hunter safety courses with my son last year. I had a direct line of vision to the reflection of his face in the side mirror.
“Lower your sights,” the voice seemed to repeat.
So I broke the death stare, backed off and put on some calming music.
“Lord, give me patience,” I whispered.
According to the “Everyday Health” website article, 7 Ways Anger Is Ruining Your Health (https://www.everydayhealth.com), the side effects of perpetual anger include heart problems, risk of stroke, weakened immune system, increased anxiety and depression, lowered lung function and a shorter lifespan.
Anger is a serious risk to your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health.
That’s probably why the Bible talks so much about it:
“So turn from anger. Don’t rage, and don’t worry—these ways frame the doorway to evil. (Psalm 37:8)”
“A hot-tempered man starts fights and gets into all kinds of trouble. (Proverbs 29:22)”
“Do not be quick to anger, for anger sits comfortably in the lap of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9)”
“Fools have quick tempers, and no one likes you if you can’t be trusted. (Proverbs 14:17)”
Anger also chases away friends and family, as nobody wants to be around someone who is fuming mad all the time. What a bummer that is, man.
So next time you feel your anger rising, try backing off the pedal and lowering your sights, for a life of rage is really no kind of life at all.