It’s a well-known fact that drivers in South Florida are considered the worst in America. I like to believe that I am above stereotyping, so I chose not to give that rumor the time day when I moved here.
I have never been in a car accident, not once in my life (knock on wood). I consider myself a pretty good driver – I drive defensively and keep an eye on what’s happening around me, and I’m not good enough at multitasking to text and drive so that’s a non-issue. But I have acquired a very real fear since moving here; that my life will most definitely end as a result of being plowed into by some idiot in a Porsche who believes they have too much money to bother with trivial things such as other drivers on the road. No offense to you Porsche owners. And yes, I know that was run-on sentence. I don’t care.
I mean sometimes, I don’t even know what I’m seeing. Today, some dude in a van was driving in the middle of two lanes, for a good couple of miles, pulling into an actual lane only when it gave him the opportunity to pass someone. Then all of sudden, he swerved to the right crossing a whole other lane of traffic to get to the on ramp. In wall to wall traffic. And nobody even cared. Just another day in the life.
When I used to drive into the city for work, I had to really learn to watch every single person. Intersections would get jammed and there would be cars going every which way. Like seriously, just a hodge-podge of randomness, completely blocking whole intersections. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll have no idea that the car with their wheels pointed left, in the left turning lane, with their left turn signal on, is actually about to turn right when the light turns green. Without missing a beat, instead of making a u-turn like every other person on the planet would, they instead cut off about 12 people by just gunning it to opposite corner of the intersection.
Now this is the point in the post where I usually start moving from the relatable life story on to heart of the subject. But, unfortunately for you, I am in vent mode, so I will continue whining about this disaster until I get it off my chest.
Last week, I watched a guy pull out of a Dunkin Donuts with a donut in his mouth, coffee in one hand, his cell phone in the other, intermittently texting and attempting to turn the wheel. He crossed 4 lanes of heavy traffic without even looking up. Not even side glance to make sure he wasn’t about to kill someone. He almost hit me on my passenger side with my daughter in the car. My efforts to not use cuss words failed miserably.
And don’t even get me started on I-95. Or as I call it, the highway to hell. Traffic moves at one of two speeds, 90 or 40 (mph). If it’s rush hour, prepare to sit for a while crawling at a snail’s pace with the blazing sun melting your insides. But if traffic is moving, you better keep up, and you better assume that everyone around is about to do something stupid, because they absolutely are.
It’s really like traffic rules don’t exist here. People just do whatever they want. If they need to turn, they just turn. No brakes, no turn signal, just spin the wheel and go. Red lights mean nothing, even the ones with the cameras. These people couldn’t care less about getting a ticket. Need to change lanes? No need to check your mirrors or turn on your signal. Just go. People may have to come to a screeching halt to keep from causing a 20 car pile up, but it’s all good.
I thought maybe I was just being a baby about it, like maybe as I get older I’m developing some kind of driving anxiety. But it’s not just me. Google South Florida driving.…the proof is in the pudding.
It is safe to say that one must acquire the ability to be an aggressively defensive driver. Once you’ve been here a while, you start to get a feel for the ebb and flow of constant danger on the road. You become prepared for it. You subconsciously guard your vehicle and the precious lives in it with a fervent awareness.
I got to thinking about how Christ warns us to guard our hearts. How we are surrounded by a spiritual battle that constantly threatens to steal our peace. How we have an enemy who is prowling like a lion waiting to devour us. How we are attacked with the lies and manipulations of Satan on a daily basis.
I thought about the difference it would make if we prepared for our spiritual battles the same way we prepare for say, insane and life threatening traffic. What would happen if we knew God’s word so well that we could subconsciously defer the lies of Satan? What might our lives look like if we aggressively fought for God’s Kingdom to thrive here on earth? What if we made it a priority to fervently protect the precious souls entrusted to us? What if we lived with an intense awareness of God’s truth instead of passively storing it in the back of our minds?
Have you ever been driving and accidentally ended up going to the wrong place, a place you’re used to going to all the time, without remembering actually driving there? You got distracted and entered “the zone.” Autopilot took over, leading you back to the route you’ve travelled many times over, instead of the intended destination.
Similarly, it’s easy to end up in a spiritual “zone.” I’ll be the first to admit that kids and laundry and school and problems can distract me from remaining spiritually aware and drive me right into the zone.
It’s not a good place to be, and I never realize I’m there until it’s too late. Not only does it put me right back on the old route to selfishness and sin, but it steals my ability to be aggressively defensive. In the zone, I’m not aware of Satan’s lies any more than I would be aware of a vehicle about to cut me off in traffic. And if I can’t defend myself, protect my heart from his manipulations, how on earth can I be a warrior for truth?
You won’t make it to your God-given destination if you let some demonic liar bulldoze you off the road with his Porsche.
So I guess my message today is pay attention. Know God’s truth. Know your destination. Be aware, be cautious, and forge ahead, without hesitation. Go with boldness, but beware of idiots on the road.
Just like you were driving in the trenches of South Florida.
Have a great night everyone, sorry for the late post, my day got away from me. Blame it on the traffic…or the kids. Yeah, it was totally the kids 😉