Posts Tagged ‘car’

Time to tell a better story: an afterword

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Olive tress and path

We live in an age where our tweets about grocery shopping, ill-considered blog posts and half-hearted ‘likes’ of mildly amusing Facebook posts threaten to trivialise and reduce our lives like nothing before.  Yet, amongst all the noise we create with our self-importance and desire to be liked, we still hear snatches of a clearer signal that enhances our human connections rather than dilute them.

In a comment on my previous post, Casey kindly expresses a concern as to whether I may be bottling up my feelings concerning Friday’s accident.  While I always appreciate folk taking the time to comment on my posts, I feel blessed that Casey cares enough not just to follow through with a comment but also to challenge me on whether I am really ‘over’ what happened or just blowing smoke in my post to disguise a need to vent.

I am pleased to report that I am not bottling anything up and I genuinely have nothing I need to work through or get out of my system. While I have reacted badly to similar situations in the past, on Friday I took a different approach to dealing with the incident.  I found it liberating and offered me a timely opportunity for reflection.

While there is no denying a certain amount of inconvenience as a result of the accident, what did I actually lose?  Other than three or so hours out of my working week and possibly losing my ‘no claims’ bonus, I am essentially no worse off than before the incident.  On the other hand, I find I have gained in a number of ways.

I spent time with a delightful Indian lady and her daughter who were also involved in the accident, comparing our respective philosophies and theologies while the police carried out their enquiries. I met a couple of great tow truck drivers who had a fine line in graveyard humour, a genuine concern for all involved and did me a great service in calling ahead to arrange a courtesy car.

However, the biggest gift of all was that I was given an opportunity to put my faith – all that read, pray on and believe in – into practice when speaking to the disqualified and uninsured driver who drove into the back of my car.  In the simple words of George Fox, I was given the choice to ‘let my life speak’ through the way I chose to react to him and the unexpected turn of events he set in motion.

Where I might previously have puffed out my chest, shouted and remonstrated, I was given a chance to turn the other cheek; where I might have nurtured a grudge and apportion blame, it was in my gift to banish ill-will; where I could have demanded summary justice, I resolved to think about mercy; and where I could have argued the facts and challenged untruths, I was minded to hold my tongue and extend grace instead.

In a week where the aftermath of tsunami, earthquakes and civil unrest continues to cleave family life, decimate communities and bereave thousands across the Southern hemisphere, I am truly thankful that my gravest concern is how I might pay for the car repairs.

My flawed and fissured life is a work in progress; a series of moments, milestones and mishaps through which I try to navigate with a pinch of wisdom, a modicum of integrity, an ounce of good humour – and my faith, which exhorts me to seek that of God in every man, no matter the circumstance. On Friday, I simply tried to do just that.

Time to tell a better story?

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

To the disqualified driver of the uninsured, street modified Honda who drove into the back of my car after tailgating me on yesterday morning’s commute into town.

  • I am trying to think well of you though your actions, behaviour and manipulations left me sad, annoyed and inconvenienced.
  • I wish you no harm and my hope is that you choose not to drive again whilst disqualified to do so.
  • I bear you no ill-will and my wish is that you respect the law and other road users enough to not drive whilst uninsured.
  • I trust you are as safe & healthy as when you left the scene and my prayer is that you hold those you meet in higher regard than you seemed yesterday.

In closing, please think about telling a better story with your life, taking responsibility for your actions and their consequences, and enriching the lives of others as well as yourself.