As I approached the “Lane Ends Merge Right” sign, I looked to check the additional mirror my husband attached to the passenger side; you know the one that gives you the view of the blind spot that doesn’t allow you to see a car driving right next to you. Sure enough, there was a car that I couldn’t see. I put my blinker on and waited for it to pass. I was quite close to the point where the lanes come together when to my left, a car came speeding up, trying to get one or two cars ahead. My first reaction was not to kindly slow down and allow them to enter my lane, it was to wrinkle my brow and press on the gas just enough that he was unable to move over. I know what you may be thinking, “why not just let him in?” I’ll tell you why, at that moment, I was a bit irritated – not really at anything or anyone in particular – I just wanted to be home instead of driving, and it seemed like the thing to do at the time. Of course, it was a very dangerous decision and one that, quite honestly, I get upset when my husband makes. I immediately took my foot off the gas and let him in, deciding also to move over to the right hand lane, which I am not in too much. I’ve been known to have a bit of a lead foot, a trait my sons have brought to my attention from time to time. FYI – new vehicles have this ability to gauge your “average” speed and not only calculate it, but display it on the dashboard. I found this out after I had borrowed my son’s car.
He came in the house and said something to the effect of, “Mom, exactly how fast were you going? Your average speed was 60 something.”
“Um, I wasn’t going THAT fast.”
“You do understand how averages work?”
“How do you even know that?” I asked.
“It’s on the dash, the last “trip” is displayed.”
The first thing that came to mind, sadly was not, “You shouldn’t be speeding,” it was more like, “Next time, I’m going to turn the car off and then back on and off so it deletes the evidence.” I then had to chuckle and thought to myself, “My Dad would be proud.” (My father worked in the medical and law enforcement fields – his last job was as a Chief Deputy Coroner and because of this, my family has a very strange sense of humor.) Sorry.
Anyway, back to my poor driving practices. It was in the right hand lane, as I continued my commute. I was amazed at how many people were speeding past me. Not going the “just over 5 miles per hour” of the speed limit, but like 15 – 20 miles over it and then it happened. Traffic quickly slowed down, for no apparent reason, until I drove a bit more and saw the State Police car. Does anyone else instantly get that pit in your stomach when you see them – whether you’re speeding or not? You know the, “quickly take your foot of the gas and press the brake pedal – not so much that it appears you will go through the windshield, but enough that you hopefully slow down to acceptable speed and pass the nice officer on the side of the road, and then check the rearview mirror at least 6 or 7 times to see if he’s following you…please, I know I’m not the only one. Why is it that we put ourselves through this game of, “Oh man, I was speeding but I really don’t want a ticket, nor can I afford a ticket right now”; instead of just obeying the speed limit and not having to worry about it? And why do we question ourselves when we aren’t even speeding? Why are we always in such a hurry?
How much better it would be to just obey the signs and the limits, allowing everyone to have a safe commute and maybe even use this time to de-stress? I encourage you to slow down and take the time to relax. Listen to a podcast or audio book, sing at the top of your lungs - the funky music of your childhood, or better still, allow the silence to penetrate your soul and take in the beauty of the landscape around you. I’ve spent many commutes from Nazareth to Trexlertown talking to God and yes, sometimes I’m asking Him that the nice officer I just passed, stays right where he is.
Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Psalm 39: 6-7