Driving as a Competitive Sport

 
Driving as a Competitive Sport: Games have never sparked much competitiveness in me. I was not driven to chase the ball. I would, however, engage at a high level when I believed my team was being treated unfairly. That still shows up in my driving.
 
Navigating the Interamericanna should be considered as an event in the next Summer Olympics. It requires many qualities associated with a sporting event; concentration, agility, honed reflexes, rapid response time and peripheral acuity. Those traits are all helpful and necessary in safely navigating in Panama. Competitiveness is the one sporting trait that isn’t helpful or productive … and I’ve got it.
 
Things begin peacefully. “This is not a race,” I remind myself. The internal coach tells me that the imprudence of others need not determine my speed. I observe the posted limits … roughly. I allow others to speed ahead and become police bait. I am tranquil.
 
Then, as I am passing a vehicle functioning with only three of it’s six cylinders, I see it. Not always, but quite often, it is a Toyota Highhander or a Volkswagen Runamok. Something about paying that much for a vehicle must make you believe you really are entitled. I digress … the point is, the driver of that gargantuan vehicle does not realize that it’s okay to take their foot off the gas and wait for a safe time to pass. It is much better, in their mind, to shoot the half-car-length gap between my vehicle and the basically stationary object in the other lane.
 
When I see this coming, something snaps. My team is about to be treated unfairly. A road-foul is about to be committed and since no referee is in sight, discipline falls to me. Perhaps there’s some Canadian in me … because a little part of me wants to check the offending vehicle into the sideboards. My more measured response? Close the gap … at all costs! Like Gandalf confronting the Balrog in Moria, my mind shouts, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” My accelerator synaptically follows suit.
 
I have invented several plausible justifications for my actions that you would all gladly adopt as your own … but I’m not here to justify, I’m here to confess. Confession is good for the soul … I hope it will be good for my driving. I don’t need to control the other driver … I need to control my anger directed at the other driver for his or her unsafe choices.
 
Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  James 1:20