Honestly, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

I was heading south at the intersection of Preston and Forest on my way to my office, stopped at the light. An ambulance was making its way north to the intersection, weaving its way between stopped cars, lights flashing and siren wailing. It was obviously on its way to some dire emergency.

Arriving at the intersection, the ambulance began to edge out to proceed through the red light. Ordinarily, I would expect the east-west drivers to stop and let the emergency vehicle go through; however, it didn’t happen. The westbound drivers had the left-turn green light. They had to see and hear the ambulance, but apparently they were all in a hurry on their own personal emergencies, and one by one, no less than six cars passed in front of the screaming ambulance, not one stopping to let it pass.

I found myself wondering what that scene said about human nature. Were they that uncaring and thoughtless? Were they oblivious? After all, that ambulance could have been on its way to one of their own aging parents, who had just suffered a heart attack. It could have been on its way to an accident involving their own teenage children. But chances were that it was not, and so I had to assume that since the need wasn’t personal, it didn’t matter to those westbound drivers.

I hope I’m wrong, but I found any other interpretation difficult to believe.

I usually don’t use my column to vent, but I am this month. I find it difficult to like the drivers of North Dallas. I find them astonishingly selfish. With alarming frequency, I witness drivers cutting off other cars, turning without bothering with turn signals (that’s a favorite pet peeve of mine), paying little attention to their driving while engrossed in a cell phone conversation, and that most dangerous of all vehicular sins — texting while driving. Speed limits have become theoretical.

Okay, I am venting. I know it.

As a minister and preacher, I talk a lot about love. I talk about kindness and gentleness and humility, which I believe to be basic attributes of the faith I embrace. And I’m happy to say that I know a lot of genuinely kind people — people who regularly go out of their way to help others.

But I have come to the conclusion that what kind of person we are — to my tribe, what kind of Christian we are — becomes most evident behind the wheel of a car.

I love the story of the driver who was angrily blowing her horn at the elderly person in front of her who had missed a green light. Banging on her steering wheel and using unusual hand gestures, she was obviously beside herself. A police officer pulled her over.

“What did I do? I wasn’t speeding,” she asked the officer. The officer explained that no, she wasn’t speeding.

“I saw the way you were acting,” he said, “and then I saw the ‘I Love Jesus’ sticker on your car, and I thought the car was stolen.”

Enough said. It may be that the way you drive says more about you than the creed you profess.

Now I’ve said it, and I feel so much better.


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