Sunday, August 13, 2006

Family Lesson

A couple of weeks ago, we were in Saline. We were driving down the road at the regular speed limit. We were all talking (Joel, the kids, and me) and didn't notice the signs for road construction up ahead. We were about to the top of the hill where the road workers were and noticed that a man was waving his cap at us. We immediately started slowing down of course and were slowed very sufficiently by the time we got to him. We weren't slowed enough to suit this guy though, and he let us know that by yelling at the top of his lungs and hitting the van as we drove by. I was appalled...appalled and EXTREMELY ticked off. We had stopped the van at this point and I promptly rolled down my window and started yelling at the man. It went something like this: "What the heck?!?! You don't hit somebody's vehicle like that!! We were slowing down, you just need to calm yourself!!! Geez!!!!!!" The man proceeded to yell back, just as much as I was yelling and then we drove off. I was so mad. But, the bummer was that I was so sad too.

Since I've been married to Joel and since I've become more and more like Jesus (as we Christians are all doing hopefully), I have become more and more tenderhearted. I had never even really seen "tenderhearted"...the Jesus kind of tenderhearted...until I met Joel. Not weak or a pushover, but just meek and tenderhearted. Anyhow, it is a good thing and a few seconds after we drove off, I started bauling like a baby. Had I really acted that way? It was very disappointing. I knew that it hurt God to see me reacting in such a way. Even if I didn't have kids that I am trying to be an example to it would be horrible. It wasn't about the kids. But, the kids were with us and it made it that much worse.

We went to where we needed to go and then were driving back by the construction and that man about 30 minutes later. I knew that I was supposed to stop and apologize to him. That wouldn't even have been an option for me about 6 years ago. I hadn't had much practice or example of apologizing when wrong. But, now I am much quicker to know when I need to apologize and I know that I am at peace when I obey and do it. So, even though it still doesn't come easily at times, when I am supposed to apologize I do it.

We stopped as we passed by the man. He was abrupt at first and probably wasn't expecting an apology...probably expecting more griping. But, he was nice and seemed softened by the apology when he heard it. We pulled off the road after we left. I was crying, Joel was crying, and the kids were just looking at us. :) We turned around and explained in the simplest terms possible what had just happened and why it was important to apologize. Then Grady noticed some horses on the side of the road and started screaming with glee. :) It may not have made a huge impact on our kids at present, but I'm excited about raising them and being an example of humility and tenderness to them. God help us.

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