Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Right Of Way

When the front bumper of a car smashed my knees against the bicycle I was walking through the intersection, I was to say the least shocked. I was in a cross walk. The audio signal was indicating it was my turn. It evidently didn't matter though. I was knocked down and my 2 year old son, who was in a bicycle carrier was knocked over as well.
Luckily for both of us, the car had slowed to turn right at a stop light. When the older lady driving checked left but not right, she plowed into me as I crossed in front of her. A frightening experience for my son and I, but I think she was scared too. She jumped from her car, ran around to where we sat crumpled in the road, and began yelling at me for marking the paint on the hood of her car.
As I brushed gravel from my hands and knees, picked up my screaming toddler and dragged the bike out of the intersection, she continued to berate me for crossing the street when she had the right of way. She informed me her son was a lawyer and would be contacting me to pay for the paint job of her car.
I just turned my back on her and walked the bike down the road. She yelled for me to come back so I could give her my phone number, but I ignored her. My son was clinging to me and my focus was on him. My husband later told me I should've gotten her phone number and sued her for running down a blind lady in a cross walk.
It made me feel better certainly, but the truth is; it wouldn't have been the right way.
Often when someone has wronged us, or acted foolishly, our immediate response is to make them pay because they are wrong. In the driver of the car's perception, I was in her way and she was right. I wasn't perfect in my behavior, even though I had the right of way in the situation. I know some of you are asking yourself what a blind lady was doing riding a bike with a baby in tow? I can almost hear you smiling right now!
Life is never as cut and dry as who is right and who is wrong.
Each of us make mistakes. Every one wants to be in the right, but will find them selves on the back side of what "Right" really is.  Instead of worrying about whether or not you have "the right" to behave the way you are acting. Ask your self if you're acting "the right" way. Do you allow others the same mistakes you want others to allow you? Do you judge a group of people based on the actions of a few individuals? Even if your intentions were right, were your attitudes, actions, and understanding accurate? Even if you were "right", would you rather be justified or peaceful?
I learned this lesson from my mother a very long time ago. For a good portion of my young adult years and even before, I wanted to prove to her that I was right, that there were differences between her way, my way, and the right way.
When I stopped trying to prove to her I was right; I discovered we actually agree on a lot of things.If my mother is reading this she's probably shaking her head and wondering if I've had a seizure. You probably don't know you taught me this but you did Mom. Thank You.
 This lesson has been invaluable in my life. God's way is "The Right Way". My foolish, mortal, flawed mind can't begin to grasp infinite principals with finite understanding. I don't have faith in God because I'm too stupid to use my own brain to tell the difference between right and wrong. I walk with faith because this planet is occupied by imperfect humans. I trust the only perfect being I've ever known, Jesus Christ.If you're asking yourself if that's difficult not having ever met the man. Its Not. The hard part is doing the work to know, trust, and give my life to Him. With the last 40 years of practice, I know Him. I can't wait to know him better every day. I can't wait to ask him all my weak and mortal questions. Mostly, I can't make it through all the interpretations individual people have of their rights without his love and example to show me the right way.

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