I’m heading home from work, working the traffic—dodging to the left, dodging to the right. Speeding up. Trying not to slow down. Timing the lights. Not stopping, if possible.
The goal is to get ahead (of everyone). A kind of NASCAR on the streets. Not real intelligent but entertaining as long as road rage doesn’t kick in.
As I’m maneuvering through the evening hurry-to-get-home traffic God starts talking:
“I know you don’t believe in me.”
I tense up a little. I check the backseat through my rear-view mirror, I grip the steering wheel a bit tighter. I realize it’s God breaking into my routine. I act nonchalant. “Aah no way, Lord! What are you talking about? You know I believe in you.”
“Then how come you didn’t say so yesterday when that guy said there ain’t no God?”
“Well you know I was setting him up.” I felt sweat creeping above my right eyebrow. Out of nervousness I inadvertently I punched the gas pedal.
“What’s your hurry? Slow down … setting him up for what?”
I tried to swallow but my throat was dry. “I mean, you know, I was sucking him in?”
“Oh, okay, I see … you were trying to be clever?”
“Yeah, sort of.”
“You mean you have a five-year plan?”
“Um, sure …yes Lord. I had a plan.”
“What do you know about this guy?”
“Not much really.”
“Well, guess what, I know everything there is to know about him.”
“Right.” I’d slowed way down. It’s hard to race when you’re having a conversation. Talking and driving ruins concentration.
“He’s hurting and he was crying out for help. Did you hear that?”
Wow, how did I miss that? But I said, “Not really. It seemed like he thought I was an idiot.”
“The light’s gonna turn red. Don’t run it. Stop. … Ya know what? Ya gotta get tougher.”
“I what …?”
“When I send someone your way you gotta be ready.”
Sitting at the red light I asked, “Ready for what?”
“Well, for one thing, ready for conflict.”
“You mean I should anticipate conflict?” The traffic signal switched to green; the car behind me honked ‘get moving.’
“Conflict is part of the game.”
I slid over to the far right lane. “The game?”
“From your opposition.”
“My opposition?” I didn’t follow.
“Look it up, John 10: 10a.”
“In the mean time get yourself in shape and stop fooling around.”
I turned onto my street and pointed toward my driveway. “Sorry. I should have done better.”
“You’re forgiven. Consider the incident practice. From now on do more than pretend you believe.”
“Will that help?” I turned the engine off and opened my door. It was nice to be safely home.
“Yes, but not always. Still, it’ll give someone something worthwhile to think about.”
(Conversation to continue)