A blaring horn shocked me right out of my running shoes the other day. I often run during rush hour, well, rush hour to my small city in Indiana. It is chaotic and busy. I find myself relishing in the fact that I can run my little heart out in peace and quiet, while the busy workers try to find their way to work. I run with no worries and no cares. I try to find God moments and enjoy the gift of being alone (which doesn’t happen often).
Not so the other day, because those “car people” decided to take me into their world. As I was turning the corner from a busy intersection to move toward a quiet little park area, a horn blasted and blew me over. Almost literally blew me over. The car that was traveling behind me (I was safely on the running path) was hidden from the car turning from the park. Unfortunately, I probably was blocking the view, but I was oblivious to it all, until I heard the horn. The car from the park turned right in front of the car on the busy road. When he did this, a blaring noise came from the car on the busy road, “BLAAAAAAAAAA” was what hit my ears.
Whoa. This took me out of my peaceful world and right into this chaotic mess. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but I started thinking about how that is so true in life. People love to make other’s mistakes known to the world. Sure the person shouldn’t have turned in front of the car, but the other car could have slowed down. Did he have to blow his horn to announce, “Heh, I am right and you are wrong” to everyone? Sometimes we can use our horns for good. We can honk to let someone know we are there. We can honk to say hello. We can honk to say be careful. It was obvious that this person honked to say, “Don’t do that again or I will hit you.”
Oh, I have used my own personal horn (my mouth) so many times to do things that I am not proud of. I have cut down people with gossip. I have hurt people with words that I never should have let slip out of my mouth. I have let my horn blare before at my family, startling them and saying, “Don’t do that again or you will be in really big trouble.” I wish I could take back those moments, but I can’t. You see, when we run our mouths (just like we honk our horns) we startled people and they never forget it. They might forgive us, but they always remember.
Psalm 10:7 His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is mischief and wickedness.
The psalmist sings of the wicked man. When the wicked man speaks, he is filled with deceit. Nothing good will come out of his mouth because life is so miserable for him. Maybe he is miserable because he is oppressed or depressed or angry. We don’t know. We just know that when he talks, it will be wicked words.
I have been there. I have been so filled with anger, depression or oppression that I spew out that yuckiness with my wicked words. It has been awful for others to witness. I am embarrassed to admit it, but it is the truth.
The driver of the blaring horn car must have been filled with “road rage” that day. I cannot even begin to understand what was going on in his brain, but the mouth of his car spewed out wickedness to all of us. He obviously let the events of the day get to him. He allowed wickedness into his heart instead of compassion.
Maybe I am being too hard on that driver, but I could see that he had choices. He could have slowed down. He could have given out a small “beep” for a warning. He didn’t though. He laid on his horn and didn’t let go. He rode on the back of that poor car’s bumper for another block, just to let the car know that he made a BIG mistake.
How we handle our misfortunes tells a lot about our hearts. When we allow wickedness into our heart, we respond like the driver with the blaring horn. When we allow compassion into our hearts, we respond like God. Our actions and words do have an impact on others. My peaceful run was changed that day. The driver of the other car probably was shaking in his boots from the blare of the horn. The beginning of the day was altered just by one person allowing wickedness into their heart. Our tongue is like a fire. When we set it aflame (allow wickedness to come out of it), we cause a spark that ignites more wickedness in others and ourselves. Soon the fire will spiral out of control. Instead of spreading compassion, we have spread the virus of evil.
Find a way to lead your day with compassion. Guard your tongue. Listen to God. Choose your word and actions, so that you spread the love of Christ.
James 3:5-6 Just think how large a forest can be set on fire by a tiny flame! 6 And the tongue is like a fire. It is a world of wrong, occupying its place in our bodies and spreading evil through our whole being.