Traffic Jam


Matthew 7:13-14  Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Driving through a city, especially during rush hour, makes me incredibly anxious. Yesterday I attended a knitting retreat in the Northeast Arts District, requiring me to drive downtown Minneapolis. Driving in traffic does strengthen my prayer life! I arrived an hour before the event began (better safe than stuck in traffic) and continued reading The Book of Joy. In the book, the author Douglas Abrams was riding with  Archbishop Desmond Tutu when he asked how all his spiritual practices and beliefs affected his day-to-day interactions, like driving in traffic. This is how the Archbishop responded:

All of a sudden a car cut across the lanes in from to us and the Archbishop had to swerve out of the way to avoid hitting the other car. “There are some truly amazing drivers on the road!”, the Archbishop said with exasperation and a head-shaking chuckle. I asked him what went through his head at moments like this, and he said that perhaps the driver was on his way to the hospital because his wife was giving birth, or a relative was sick. There it was. He reacted with the inevitable and uncontrollable surprise, which is one of our instinctual responses, but then instead of taking the low road of anger, he took the high road of humor, acceptance, and even compassion. And it was gone no fuming, no lingering frustration, no raised blood pressure.

May you take the high road as you travel down life’s roads.



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