Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Driving Mad on the Road

Not many of us can honestly say we’ve never sinned on the road. Especially after reviewing the Ten Commandments for drivers recently issued from the Vatican, I can think of a few I saw that were broken today.

One particular instance comes to mind. On my way to work this morning, I was crossing an intersection when a black sports car cut me off. He squeezed in front my sedan barely missing me and the tracker-trailer he was trying to avoid being behind in the other lane.

What causes us to think we can disregard the rules of the road?

Whatever our motive is, we’ve got to stop. According to the Associated Press, the Vatican agrees. Religious leaders in Rome see this as a big problem in society today. That’s why they issued a list of rules to help drivers curb their road rage tendencies and promote considerate driving.

The “Driver’s Ten Commandments”

  • You shall not kill.
  • The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
  • Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
  • Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
  • Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion for sin.
  • Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
  • Support the families of accident victims.
  • Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
  • On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
  • Feel responsible toward others.

Now, a majority of these “sins” are ones we’ll never commit. But, a few caught my eye and convicted me, particularly commandments 6 and 9.

I’ve questioned other people’s condition and their ability to drive. I just can’t remember the last time I stopped myself from driving. There have been plenty of instances when I was upset or very tired and still drove. Not just that though. I can think of a few instances when I was upset to the point of tears clouding my vision as I got into the driver's seat. It's careless on my part. And I thank God that He protected me and others. We should all take responsibility to make sure that we alert and capable when we drive.

I also admit there are times when I have gotten frustrated with new drivers and the elderly on the road. By no means have I ever been belligerent, but I’ve complained under my breath because of their lack of speed. The thing is, we should all slow down a bit. That alone would probably decrease the number of accidents every year.

Besides that fact, shouldn’t our faith affect every part of our lives as Christians? Why aren’t we Christ-like on the road? Our mandate to become more like Him shouldn’t end when we get behind the wheel.

Prefer others before yourself even while you’re late somewhere or on your way after a hard day at work. Be patient in traffic. Getting upset doesn’t make the person in front of you go any faster. They’re stuck behind the car keeping them in traffic too.

Just because our society has the mentality of a dog-eat-dog world doesn’t mean we have to buy into it. Even on this seemingly insignificant level as our driving habits, we can do the right thing and not get upset when someone cuts us off.

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