Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Expire (08/01/13)
TITLE: Running on Short Time
By Birdie Courtright
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As fate would have it, although I only had a few blocks to travel, the car in front of me seemed to be in not much of a hurry. As the minutes ticked away, matters only grew worse. My lane was incredibly slow due to the car in front of me so the lane beside me was increasingly congested by the drivers behind me taking their chance to pass.
I was hopelessly stuck and growing more frustrated by the second. Finally, the driver in front of me came to a complete stop. WHAT??? There was no stop sign—he just decided on a whim to stop so that the 4 cars waiting in the left turn lane on the opposite side of the road (who had no right of way) could turn in front of him. Again, no chance to pass in the lane next to me unless I wanted to take a chance on being smashed by a left turning driver whose vision would be blocked by the driver in front me.
My car was hot. The temperature outside was in excess of 100 degrees and the a/c had not even fully kicked in to cool the car down to a suffer-able temperature. I was sweating and frustrated and quickly fixing to lay on my horn as the last left lane turn car passed and the driver in front of me began to move forward. I breathed a sigh of relief, hoping for no further delays. That’s when I saw him; the homeless guy standing in the median with a sign that read “I need a meal”.
Need you even wonder; the car in front of me once again came to a dead stop, while the cars behind me took their chance to pass. Once again, I was stuck…impatiently counting the seconds of my short lunch hour ticking away. The driver rolled down his window in order to engage the homeless man in conversation. I waited, while my last sliver of patience engaged in an epic struggle to keep my hand away from the horn which I fantasized would release such an intensely rude blast that the love fest taking place in the median would be immediately disrupted.
At the exact second that my patience gave way, I saw a hand emerge from the driver’s window with three one dollar bills which the homeless man thankfully received—even blowing the driver in front of me a kiss for his generosity. My hand was less than a quarter of an inch from the horn as the car in front of me once again started to move forward. I took a deep breath and placed both hands firmly on the steering wheel. As we neared the intersection, the light turned green. The driver in front of me raced ahead, apparently with no further distractions in mind.
I had less than a half block to go as I tried to debrief from all that had just happened. Let me tell you, what transpired in my car was swift and succinct. I clearly heard the Lord’s voice.
“Are you in such a rush today that you have no patience for the one ahead of you who is taking his time to be courteous, kind and generous? Perhaps you have something to learn from him.”
I pulled into the parking space at the drugstore, knowing there was something better I should do with my limited time. I hurried in to take care of my errand and rushed back to the car. I was on a mission of repentance.
As I approached the intersection I noticed the homeless man was crossing the street, heading into the shade of a nearby building. I followed and beckoned for him to approach my half rolled down window. My car was cool now—and up close; he appeared heat weary and sunburned as I passed an ice cold bottle of water and a five dollar bill through the window. He blessed me and blew me a kiss.
I clocked in just in time. My short lunch hour had expired but the lesson learned from the driver in front of me will stay for a while.
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