As I entered the parking lot, there was a blue mini-van sitting right in the middle of the the main entrance. I pulled up behind the van and waited a moment to see if the driver would move, but she didn’t. After about a minute, I decided to simply go around the stopped van. I tried to pass her on the left- at that point the driver decided to start moving. So, I waited for her to proceed forward in order to fall in behind her. Once again she stopped. So, again I waited patiently for a few seconds, then I tried to pass her once more. This time she sat still and allowed me to go around. As I went around her, she gave me the meanest, nastiest look you could ever possibly imagine, and then she began cursing at me…loudly. I thought to myself, “Why are you mad at me? What on earth did I do wrong? I was trying to be patient and let you go, but you couldn’t make up your mind! I’ve done nothing but try to be courteous to you!” In that moment I chose not to respond to her, I just simply drove away. Ashamedly, I don’t always take the high road, but on that particular day, I did.
The more I thought about it, the more it troubled me. She had no right to be angry with me and curse at me because I had done nothing wrong. I drove around the parking lot a few times so that I could process what had just happened. Once I felt peaceful (and had done all of my “Goose-frah-bah” exercises), I decided to park. As I swung into a spot, guess who was getting out of the vehicle next to me? Yep…the angry lady (though I use the term “lady” loosely). In that moment I had to make a decision: Do I get out of my truck, and risk getting into some type of exchange with this lady whereby I blow my cool, or do I drive away and just “let it go”? Again, as much as I wanted to vindicate myself, I chose to drive away and forgo my much needed Vente Pike coffee, which made me even more agitated.
It took everything in me to let it go. I wanted so badly to be right and to prove my point. But honestly, that wouldn’t have changed a thing with me or the angry lady, because being right is not always worth the fight. One of my heroes, Andy Stanley, says, “Sometimes it’s more important to build a relational bridge than to be right.” And he’s right, because at the end of the day human relationships are more important than almost anything else. God made us for relationships and what matters most is how we treat one another. “Your love for one another will prove that you are my disciples.” -John 13:35.
So, as you’re finishing up your last bit of Christmas shopping and are surrounded by those who are frantically trying to finish up their shopping, too, remember to simply be patient and show kindness to others around you. Because after all, you may be the only Jesus they see.