Hints of a courteous form of Anarchy-Group Think!
Since 1998 or so, I’ve had to live with frequent traffic near my home during crucial pick-up times for my children from after-school activities: music, sports, and clubs—-right at 5:30 or 6:00 PM traffic times! On Swedesford Road and N. Valley Road in Tredyffrin township, Chester county, PA, I drive East from my home and have the right of way at a tricky intersection. Yet, over the years, employees at nearby Vanguard and other corporations have inconsistently stopped and allowed multiple cars to lead the way for turning by the friendly wave of giving up their right to proceed.
This causes back up on my road for up to a mile at times. While the other cars can move quickly from at least two directions at the four way intersection, those who normally have the right, lose out. It even causes accidents for those visiting drivers who are unaware of the unwritten rule.
There is no stop sign there and the invisible stop sign has become a way to stop and let others go before you while patiently waiting for your turn. Sometimes, 5, 6, 7 cars are granted movement as your line gets backed up more and more. The problem with this kind form of anarchy is that it is disproportionate. When the invisible stop sign is used, the group think causes unusual back up and to the drivers who, by law, have the right to proceed through the intersection because, actually, there is NO Stop sign. Yes, we tried to spend budgeted PA state money for a circle, but one voice shot it down, guess they were the last one to come in at the end of a long-winded meeting? Who knows?
How may this relate to my Christian faith? Are there other times when I wait, give up my rights and allow those who do not respect the right of way to benefit? The answer is Yes. And I question if it is to their advantage to slow others down so they may proceed unhindered and unimpeded.
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. (Matthew 5:41)”. And later summarizes his detailed teaching known as The Golden Rule; “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets (7:12)”. Ah, Christians must take a back-seat some times.
So, on my way back from the pick up, I would often prudently go the “longer way”, knowing the Invisible STOP sign would work to my advantage, taking that Left turn on to Swedesford Road, where friendly anarchistic wave me through. Yes, for timeliness of my own schedule for making dinner. I, too, succumbed to herd mentality, even just a little bit out in the suburbs. I had to find a way to survive so I constantly was not the one waiting in undue traffic. LORD, help us wait patiently for You and Your ways as You have already come to fulfill the law, through your grace in Christ Jesus’ saving work on the cross. Amen
But can we still have the circle? Peace.