The Drive Through

by Sheldon Smith

This morning on the way to work, I decided to stop by McDonald's. It was one of those newly designed restaurants with the double drive-through. There were several cars in each line. The normal process is for cars to form a single line after putting in their order. It's kind of like a freeway merge where cars from the two lanes take turns moving into a single line.

When it was my turn to join the single lane that leads to the first window for you to pay, a guy in a red car jumped in front of me. I looked up at him and he moved forward even further, closing the gap between him in the car in front of him. I leaned my head out the window and tried to be nice by saying may "God bless you." When he got to the window to pay, I found myself right behind him. That's when I reached my head out again and said, "I'm going to pray for you because you have a dark heart."

It was my turn to pay. I handed the lady my credit card and she said, "The man in front of you paid for your breakfast." That's right when I felt a knot in my throat and my heart sank into my stomach. This man whose behavior was typical of so many aggressive drivers that I see each day was just trying to get in front of me so he could pay for my breakfast. He must've seen my license plate on the front of my car indicating I'm a war vet, although I don't see how he could have because he was coming from the other order kiosk to get in front of me. Nevertheless, although I thought my response was that of a Christian, it was actually that of an impatient person who was just focusing on the fact that someone got in front of him.

Let us all be slow to anger and slow to speak. The Scriptures have rebuked me.

"So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20).

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city" (Proverbs 16:32).

"For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money" (Titus 1:7).