I love it when two posts come together. I wrote about anger in a post published earlier this week. It manifests as arguments between strangers and abuse in interpersonal relationships. It runs rampant and sometimes deadly on our roadways. It’s HERE but we ignore it. And the more we ignore it, the worse it gets. It’s like Ghostbusters II when that pink slime was growing off hate and bubbling underneath NYC. Okay maybe not like that, but kind of like that.

So why are YOU mad? You can sit there and smile and say, “I’m not mad. I only get angry when there is injustice or when I’m really provoked,” or maybe you’re like me and say, “OH. It takes a whole lot to set me off.” I’ll be honest in hopes that you will be too: I am lying. With certain things, it will take me a while to get angry but others? Cut me off on the highway and watch. Am I going to race after you and attempt to run you off the road? Nope. You might have heat in the glove compartment and today ain’t a good day to die, homie.

If I have to brake hard, I run the risk of someone behind me hitting me or I may have to swerve into another lane or into the median to avoid a collision. I value my life and believe it or not, I value yours and others around us and now I’m in a situation where you’ve put me and other drivers at risk. Now I’m mad.

“My anger is not about you cutting me off. It’s because you threatened me and my sense of control.”

Plus, I don’t trust you. And I don’t like your car. I’m interested in preservation of myself and my property. I could assume everyone is an experienced driver  but when I sit behind someone in the passing lane going 15 mph below the speed limit, I know not everyone knows or respects the rules of the road. “Thou shalt not poke along and refuse to move out of the passing lane,” and “thou shalt not cut me off,” are golden. But like I said, it’s not about you cutting me off. It’s about lack of trust and control.

I Got Trust Issues

It took me a long time to understand why I had such strong anger behind the wheel but once I discovered it was about trust and the need to control things I could not, I have learned to relax and drive as I always have – defensively. I can also say it has to do with my faith. I’d get nervous that someone I couldn’t control could do something to cause me (and possibly my passengers) harm. If I understand nothing through life experience, I understand this: we’re only here for a few moments and when it’s time to go, you go. No amount of fussing or erratic driving could keep me from being affected by an accident caused by someone having a medical emergency… an inexperienced driver… a mechanical failure, etc. You understand?

I know you don’t want to hear this but control is an illusion. I knew you didn’t want to hear it. But the more you understand that, the more you can approach other situations in life with an open mind. Am I saying just drift along like that feather in Forrest Gump? Nah. It is human nature to try to plan things out. Hebrews have a saying: “Man plans, God laughs,” and in scripture, it says that, “Man plans his way, God orders his steps…” [biblegateway passage=”Proverbs 16:9″ display=”Proverbs 16:9″] What I’m saying is holding on to control so tightly means that you don’t trust people and ultimately, because our human relationship issues reflect spiritual issues, it could mean you don’t trust God. It is my belief that He will keep me and you safe on the road but if He’s ready to call us home, we out.

Bottom Line

Anger is not always about what you think. If you stop to wonder why certain things make you mad, you could get to the root of something within yourself you may want to take a look at. It could be legitimate but many times it can be based in fear. That’s the dangerous kind. Hey, I’m a realist. I know we’re not going to be able to sing a Jackie Wilson song and make everything alright (watch Ghostbusters II already, you’ll like Vigo) but I see so much irrational anger, likely triggered by fear. I think we have a responsibility to learn how to express our feelings in healthier ways so we don’t hurt ourselves – or others. It’s okay to have a difference of opinion but ignorance cause destruction. I say allow that anger but don’t let it control you.

For the Record: I don’t run people off the road or give them the finger, however, then may get a “thumbs down.”