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The word for today is PASS.
The other day, I dropped my kids off at school, and then I pulled out onto the street where the speed limit was still 20 mph. I was toodling along at this slow speed, kind of impatient to get to the part of the road where the regular speed limit picked back up, when two other parents who pulled out behind me blared their horns and zoomed around me, matching looks of irritation on their faces
I’m going to be honest, a big part of me wanted there to be a cop close by so they’d get a ticket. In my defense, I am not a morning person and I hadn’t had any coffee yet. Yet, I was kind of taken by surprise at the amount of anger that welled up in me by, what really, was no big deal. I was also a bit taken aback by the amount of irritation in the other drivers too.
But God showed me, even in that simple incident, that there are lessons to be learned. the first is it is so easy to get angry when you are in a season of life where you feel like you are in the slow lane and someone else blows by you. You are putzing along at 20 mph because that is the speed limit. That’s where you are at. It’s not that you don’t want to go faster or zoom ahead. It’s just that you are limited by things outside of your control – like the speed limit.
Yet, you feel kind of stuck and you find yourself irritated by the people around you whose lives seemed to be lived at a much faster pace, who are going somewhere, who are moving forward at a much faster speed than you are. It’s hard to be happy for that friend who finally published her book, or congratulate your friend whose adoption came through when you are still waiting. You want to feel happy for the friend who got a job promotion but a big part of you feels jealous of their success because your time is spent changing diapers or caring for an aging parent and getting ahead at work just can’t be a priority at the moment.
I think just being aware and seeking to get to a place of acceptance (not resignation) can help with some of these feelings. I have found, when I feel stuck like that, writing down what I am thankful for and the ways God IS working in my life help me to let go of any resentment I feel when others seem to be zooming by me.
The other lesson that stuck out to me was the irritation of the other drivers – their impatience with my slow pace even though that was the actual speed limit. It annoyed me in the moment, but how many times do I get impatient with someone else who might be in that slow lane of life at the moment.
Maybe, instead of riding their bumper and blowing my horn and leaving them in the dust, I could slow down and keep pace with them instead. A lot of times, it’s easy to get annoyed when someone in your life just isn’t as available as before or can no longer be your buddy in whatever you are pursuing. Instead of getting upset because someone is now in a different, slower season than you are, extend some compassion and kindness instead. Spend some time slowing down and waling beside them rather than leaving them in the dust, blaring your horn of irritation all the way.
Whether you are the one being passed or the one doing the passing, a little compassion and understanding can ease the way.