A recent tragic road rage incident in New Mexico is a stark reminder of our need to be followers of Jesus in every daily situation. Apparently the driver of the car, a man with two young children, cut off the driver of the truck. A moving shouting match ensued, until the truck driver pulled out a gun and fired at the car, killing the four year-old daughter. The shooter was apprehended, and is awaiting trial. But the family is devastated, and the world is poorer for loosing a young life.
I have a more important concern than the issue of gun control. What if the car driver, the father, had not shouted back at the truck driver? There’s no guarantee that the truck driver would not have picked up his pistol. But there’s a reason that Scripture says, “Whoever can bridle his tongue is a perfect man.” I’m sure this now-grieving father never expected to be shot at because of something he did or said. Neither do we expect such harsh reactions to the things we do or say. But those moments when we decide how to respond to something difficult (a nasty comment, a rude gesture, or someone’s misplaced anger) – those moments have great power in them – the moments when we choose whether to REACT, or to be salt and light in this situation. There WILL be an emotional price to pay – thoughts and feelings like “I’d love to give her a piece of my mind” or he can’t do that to me” have to take a back seat – but who knows what a difference we can make in daily situations like this?
It takes practice. That’s why the writer to Hebrews describes mature believers as those who “through constant use have trained themselves to discern good from evil.” It’s the practice of being salt and light in daily situations that train us and prepare us for dealing with the crises. Daily life is our gym – are you working out spiritually?