I have been surprised while in Melbourne with the number of people who just expect to receive speeding tickets as a matter of course in their driving around the city.  Just as surprising is the people I come in contact with who are fascinated by fast cars and bike whether it is the Grand Prix or other races held down here.

This week I started reflecting more on these people as I started reading Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt.  One of the early comments got me thinking as Vanderbilt raises the idea that the roads are the greatest mixing pot in the world and at the same time we have no connection with those around us.  There is no eye contact, no immediate physical presence and no real communication except car horns and hand signals.

Now this is about as far away from the Garden of Eden as I could possibly imagine.  We find ourselves in the way of each other but have no fellowship.  Our Father God looks for us and can’t find us in the midst of a traffic jam not because we are hiding but because Jesus died so that our freeways may be full rather than our lives.  You see we have become the joke:

An honest man is being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard! Suddenly, the light turns yellow just in front of him. He does the honest thing and stops at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. The tailgating woman hits the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she misses her chance to get through the intersection with him. As she is still in mid-rant, she hears a tap on her window and looks up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer orders her to exit her car with her hands up. He takes her to the police station where she is searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.  After a couple of hours, a policeman approaches the cell and opens the door. She is escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer is waiting with her personal effects. He says, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.” (this version from Jakes Jokes)

Vanderbilt tells us why this joke is a reality – we are disconnected from people when we are in our cars but as I see it in the process we forget that our Father in heaven is still watching.

We need to remain connected to God by the prompting of the Holy Spirit while driving and not take on a different spirit when we get behind the wheel.  Christian witness needs to be present whether we are aware people are watching or not.

So how is your driving?