I found myself waiting in line for school traffic last week. Waiting for folks ahead to decide where they were going, what they would do, and how quickly they could perform the necessary actions to keep the line moving.
I was watching the rear view mirror, to get a sense of where I was in line. Toward the back at first, then as more traffic stacked up behind me, I was more in the middle. Waiting. Watching. Wondering.
As I inched closer to the place of intersection with drivers who had dropped off their children, I recognized there was a moment of decision ahead for me, as there had been for every driver who had already passed through this intersection. Would I gesture at someone coming out of the school to enter ahead of me, so that they could merge back into the line of traffic and continue with wherever they were going?
It was sad that I was struggling with this upcoming decision. There was enough on my agenda that day to be concerned about and it was sad I was expending this much energy on something that should have been easy. It was sad I was worried about making my appointment (should have left earlier) and how I rationalized not letting someone in to help salvage a couple of seconds to get me to my destination. I glanced in the rear view mirror to see what the face of the driver was doing behind me. Did they look agitated, hurried, or stressed? What would folks think behind them if I let folks out? All this in an attempt to rationalize a decision that I had not even made yet.
Then it came. I was next to enter the intersection. The car in front of me waved the driver in from the right. It was smooth and looked so easy. I eased up next and realized it would not be that easy for me, as I faced the blinking left turn signal of a large yellow school bus who wanted to go left in front of me AND another driver waiting to come from the right to enter our long line of traffic. What should I do?
I waved to the school bus driver to cross in front of me, and the driver from the right used this as an opportunity to enter our long line of traffic. It worked and it didn’t seem like it really took too much time to perform this traffic dance step with two other partners.
As I slowly moved ahead, and looked in my rear view mirror again, I witnessed others doing the same and wondered aloud, “How good it is to see so many of us showing grace to one another through a school zone.” No struggles with trying to be first. No frustrations with being last. A full and simple joy to be among the many, who kept putting the other ahead of them. Thanks be to God.
If you would like to view past editions of Driving with David, follow this link: https://beacondistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/