The Horn

That horn, which I thought was a warning to the other driver

—sounded a warning to me.

The Horn nathan-lindahl-253536
Photo by Nathan Lindahl from

I am really embarrassed—make that more like ashamed—to share this. But here goes. When describing the mistakes of God’s people in the past, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:6 that these things “were written as warnings for us” not to do as they did. Here’s your warning.

We live in a fairly “old,” by California standards, development that is situated right at the beginning of a road that serves as the main thoroughfare for several large, newer developments. The resultant traffic is insane—especially in the morning rush. There are very few school bus routes in our area anymore, so it’s a parent-student taxi brigade.

The entrance to our development is the last traffic light for those leaving these newer subdivisions before opening on the major roads. There’s a lot of drama every morning at our traffic light because only one lane turns left and everybody wants into that lane (hang in there, there’s a point to this).

One morning I turned onto that road and was stopped for the red light for the main road. The light turned green and as I started forward a guy started to cut right in front of me. He’d been in the far right lane, passing all the law-abiding drivers patiently waiting in the left turn lane. Now he expected to cut in front of me. Here’s the shameful thing: I laid on the horn and kept him stuck, blocking the right lane. He glared at me and waved… well, I guess it wasn’t exactly a wave…. And kept edging in. Since our cars’ paint colors didn’t match I finally yielded—not the “right-of-way,” but the “wrong-of-way.” Again he “waved.”

Wow… What just happened? I was ashamed to see that—in an instant—I could still get so angry, be so reactive and be so careless. Road rage—I had it! That horn, which I thought was a warning to the other driver—sounded a warning to me.

I’ve come to realize driving is soul stuff. How I feel about control, about my rights, my convenience, my sense of justice and fairness, my right of way—and how I am so wrong-of-way too often.

And I’m reminded nearly every morning when I hear the horns from my house. But you won’t hear mine again.

Those who are hot-tempered stir up strife, but those who are slow to anger calm contention.                                   Proverbs 15:18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Those with good sense are slow to anger, and it is their glory to overlook an offense.                                                              Proverbs 19:11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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