Friday, March 17, 2017

we're one big organism

Today we hear from St Ambrose in A Year with the Church Fathers. He tells us how we are all one big organism, and if we hurt others, we hurt ourselves. Of course what he says is very true. And it brings to mind a lesson I’ve been learning lately.

For many years, I found myself in confession telling the priest about my anger when I was driving. You see this with many people, don’t you? Friends who are sweet and kind and gentle everywhere else suddenly become angry, vindictive, impatient people who shake their fists and yell at other drivers when they get behind the wheel. I’ve believed for many years, and practice the belief, that driving politely means driving quite a bit more safely. If you let people in (within reason) when they’re trying to merge, and you don’t cut people off, and you basically treat other cars the way you would treat other humans if you were walking with them, I have found that the driving situation in general becomes safer.

However. Recently I have been learning that there is a level of driving above “polite”. And that level is love. I have begun to try to drive lovingly. Which means if someone IMMEDIATELY honks their horn when the light changes and they're behind me, I don’t do what I used to do (drive very, very slowly to “reward” them for being impatient), but instead I drive lovingly and treat them kindly even though they annoyed me. If someone gets mad at me and tries to cut me off, I (within reason) let them go ahead and wish them well. I’ve stopped hating on people in traffic, and have started trying to drive while keeping in mind the demands of love. It’s not easy. But it does make me happier as a person.

God, thank You for teaching us to love each other so that the one big organism that we make up will be a happy, healthy one.

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