FLOWER MOUND, TX — July 11, 2021 — We hear a lot about road rage these days as the complexities of life cause stress and anger that often results in deadly consequences. Recently, during a Bible study session at my home, a friend, whom I’ll refer to as Gregg, told us about a road confrontation which occurred a few days earlier. As he was making a left turn at an intersection near his home, he noticed a car speeding up towahim as if to block his path. Gregg safely made the turn but heard the screeching sound of brakes being applied. A glance at his rearview mirror indicated that the car was making a U-turn and heading toward him. He could see a clearly agitated young man waving his fist and screaming epithets as he approached.
Gregg stopped his car at the side of the road as the other driver pulled alongside, his head jutting out of the window as he continued a tirade of insults at the astonished object of his derision. He could see that the man was about 17 and behaving extremely irrational, given the innocuous circumstances. Stunned by the sudden verbal assault, but, recognizing that the man was evidently dealing with stress that had nothing to do with the current incident, Gregg tried reasoning with his emotional adversary in an effort to defuse the situation.
“What’s the matter?” Gregg asked. “F… you old man,” was the obscene response. “Young man, what’s wrong with you? Why are you so mad? Why do I deserve to be talked to like this?” Gregg replied, trying to grasp the reason for the unbridled anger. “You’re a young man with your whole life ahead of you. Why are you so angry?” he added. That only seemed to add to the hostility of his enraged antagonist, who proceeded to become more embittered, adding one obscenity after another. “Please don’t say that. Please let God into your heart,” Gregg implored.
Not placated by the advice, the teenager shouted, “Let God in my heart? You have no God!” Gregg felt like he was watching a drowning man who was desperately crying out for help. “Young man, there is a God, and he loves you and he wants you to open your heart. I pray that you will let him in and he will heal you,” Gregg responded in a soft tone of voice. The man sneered and added a few more offensive comments. Again, my friend tried to lower the temperature of what had become a bizarre manifestation of misplaced rage.
“Let God make a difference in your life,” Gregg said, continuing to use dulcet tones in contrast to the fiery rhetoric being wielded against him.
Suddenly, he noticed the man’s expression begin to change. The scowl transformed into a look of benign acceptance and understanding. His breathing no longer labored, his hostility subdued, the man’s eyes began to water as he swallowed hard. In Gregg’s words: “He stopped yelling, took his hands off the steering wheel and bowed his head into his hands and began to weep.
Seeing this, I also wept with him. This lasted for a good 15 seconds, but it seemed like an eternity. He raised his head and sighed as he wiped back tears. He looked at me and said, ‘I am so sorry Sir, please forgive me.’ I said, young man, God is now in your heart. I love you. Be careful and God bless. Are you okay to drive, I asked? He responded, ‘Yes sir I am, thank you,’ and he drove away.”
In telling this story, Gregg added that it would not have ended amicably a few years ago because he would have reacted as aggressively and viciously as his attacker. However, he continued, our Bible study sessions, which began about a year ago, impacted him, furthered strengthened his relationship with God, and enabled him to be the person he always wanted to be.
As Gregg related the incident to us, it was clear from the reaction of the group that it had a special meaning. We often hear the phrase; “God works in mysterious ways.” Perhaps, my friend was chosen to be at that place at that time to save a young man from a self-destructive future. My guess is that he will never forget the older gentleman who had the maturity and soundness of mind to help him realize the need to seek a higher power when all seems lost. Moreover, whether you’re a believer or not, one thing’s certain, the introduction of God in this potentially deadly episode has made a difference in more than one life.
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Bob Weir is a veteran of 20 years with the New York Police Dept. (NYPD), ten of which were performed in plainclothes undercover assignments. Bob began a writing career about 16 years ago and had his first book published in 1999. He also became a syndicated columnist under the title “Weir Only Human.”