One evening, not to long ago, my kids and I were on our way to Dairy Queen.... On a very busy street, we got behind a really s...l...o...w driver. When I put my blinker on to switch lanes and go around them, the pickup behind me sped up quickly, got beside me, and proceeded to stay right beside me, so that I couldn't move my position on the road. It was very obvious that the driver was doing this on purpose!
At first I was infuriated!! But as we continued on down the road, another spot opened up for me to pass..... I was then in front of that pickup, and we both proceeded to turn into the Dairy Queen Drive through. Him behind me.
As I sat in the long line at the drive through, with my kids in the vehicle, I couldn't shake the urge to look in the rearview mirror; and every time that I did, I felt this sadness for that man. Something inside was telling me that he has had a very bad day!
So, I began telling my kids what had happened, and how this vehicle behind us had been "difficult" when we were on the road, and that he was trying to infuriate me. Then I continued with "And now, he is behind us in line....and I think that he has had a very bad day.....(pause)......And that is why we are going to pay for whatever he ordered, when we get up to the window." My kids said, "WHAT? He casued you trouble while driving, and now you are going to buy him something??" To which I replied, "Yes, I am going to be the better person. It is better to be better than bitter!" The kids were satisfied with that answer.
I, however, didn't stop thinking about that encounter all evening. The way that my heart and mind were told that man had had a very tough day, and the way that the rationalizing of this situation poured from my mouth to my kids, was certainly God sent!
Later that evening, I heard my boys telling some friends about what had happened earlier at Dairy Queen, and they were proud of me. They certainly RECEIVED the lesson that bitterness gets us nowhere, but love and kindness certainly does!
That is when I realized that I needed to be reminded of that life lesson, just as much as they needed an example of it! There is no sense to bitterness. There is nothing good that can come from it! But forgiveness, love, and kindness changes your own day and someone else's, for the better!
So, the next time that someone "rubs you the wrong way", whether it be on purpose or by accident, try to be "Better rather than Bitter"!
Thank God for this reminder, and for the prompt that day to make someone else's day better!