There are no Strangers
By Bruce W. Robida
As I was traveling through Maine with my family recently, I unintentionally cut off two other drivers as I left a side road prematurely. I had a stop sign, they didn’t. In a hurry, I stopped quickly, but distracted by conversation, I proceeded to cross the intersection without ensuring that it was safe to do so. I found myself in the middle, embarrassed and sheepishly smiling and waving, mouthing the words, “I’m sorry”, acknowledging my error. I continued through the intersection unscathed.
What were the other two drivers and their occupants thinking about me? Well, all I had to do was to think about a time when I had been cut off, which was not so very long ago. “Idiot!” was my first thought. And I’m sure there are many other adjectives that I’ve used in the past that were not so nice. Thankfully, my road rage has been limited to brief explosions in my mind about what selfish and thoughtless individuals there are on the roads, menaces to our society. And suddenly, I was one of them.
So I’m left to reevaluate my attitude as I get behind the wheel. Who are these people that have annoyed me so much? I have come to a sobering conclusion. There are only two types of people in the world, those who are in Christ and those who are not and neither are strangers.
Those who are Christians are my brothers and sisters. Should I dare cuss out those who will share in my eternal inheritance? Should I dare make accusations against those whom God has chosen to be one of His own? I have no way of knowing how many people to whom I’ve given the stink-eye. That stops now.
Those who are not Christians, for as long as they live, there is hope that they might one day become my brothers and sisters. These are my neighbors. How in the world can I win them over, cussing them out as I whip around them in my car with my little fish symbol brightly gleaming, screaming, I’m a Christian and this is how I behave!
So there are no strangers, only brothers, sisters and neighbors. This realization will help me deal with common, everyday annoyances in a more gracious manner. That is how I hope to be dealt with by others when I make mistakes.
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