It’s nice of the government to put an extra lane on the motorway for really bad drivers. I’ve noticed that where motorways have been widened to 4 lanes, all the people who are determined to stay in their lane come what may, gravitate to the 3rd lane from the right. These are the people who’d normally be in the middle lane. These are the people who you have to overtake (or occasionally undertake) because whatever speed anyone else is driving they’re not budging. It does make you wonder how they got there in the first place and whether they get dropped off and picked up by a truck like on Knight Rider.
Am I alone in sometimes feeling like there are idiots everywhere? Why do I always end up stood next to the superfan at gigs who feels the need to conduct throughout the show like he’s somewhere in between having a spiritual epiphany and a seizure? And what about those people in the supermarket who insist on dragging their trolleys behind them unable to see the carnage of squashed children and dented pensioners left in their wake.
You’re waning aren’t you? ‘SHUT UP DAVE’, you’re thinking. In the words of my very Northern Vicar I need to get over it.
I know it’s not just me who feels like this sometimes. We have comedy shows where people are paid to vent about things being rubbish. Banter abounds and it’s rarely uplifting. It’s easy to find a ‘them’ for ‘us’ to have a pop at. As a Council employee we get to choose between the management, the HR department and the poor blighters trying to fire up the hamsters that power our IT system.
Our lives can feel increasingly frantic and fractious, dependent on fallible technology to hold it all together. This technology gives the illusion of control but just adds to the frustration when life refuses to comply with our wishes.
Driving is a great example as we battle each other in our motorised boxes trying to defy the inevitable logic that the more of us do it the slower we’ll all go. I am of course a great driver. Most of the time. I’m less scary on roundabouts these days and hardly ever spectacularly stall at busy junctions in rush hour holding everyone up like I did the other week. Whoops.
Jesus says very inconvenient stuff about sorting yourself out before you go jabbing your finger at others. ‘Stop pointing out the speck in your brothers eye’ he says’ when you’ve got a plank of wood in your own’, which is a fine example of hyperbole but makes the point pretty emphatically.
There is one type of prayer I have always known works. It is the ‘Dave is being a muppet’ prayer. In my darkest depths and utter confusion after Ben died I knew I could always pull this one out of the bag. It goes something like this:
‘Dear God. I have been an idiot [INSERT DETAILS OF SPECIFIC IDIOCY]. I am sorry for being an idiot. I feel rubbish and I know it’s my fault. Please sort my head out [THIS WILL INVOLVE A VARIATION OF ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS/ FORGIVING OTHERS I’VE GOT IN A STROP WITH/ CALMING DOWN]. Thanks’
It works every time. It’s the perfect prayer because when I’ve screwed up and give back control there’s nothing to left to get in the way.
When you have that moment when the penny drops that you are the problem and it’s not the rest of the world, be encouraged. God can sort you out. He’s very good at it. He’s had lots of practice.