This weekend was another dose of the usual. Another bike ride covering way too long of a distance, way too many hills, and way too much work for a Saturday. Another typical ride that left me useless for the rest of the day and unable to get off the couch.
We took the opportunity to do a ride this weekend that covered the unpopulated roads of Southeast San Diego County. The terrain is challenging, but it feels great to get away from the busy city streets and be out in the middle of nature. Rolling hillsides, vast expanses of wilderness, running streambeds, and scenic vistas make the difficult terrain more bearable and enjoyable. The route somewhat resembles the Colorado countryside I grew up in.
On the homestretch of the ride there is an 8-mile decent from a mountain top that is a nice reward for the efforts of the day. Julie and I were descending down the road when a van passed us, an overweight lady leaned half out her window and yelled obscenities at Julie and I for riding in ‘her’ roadway. Julie almost crashed from the scare. We are used to being honked at from time to time, but leaning out of a window and yelling took it to a new level and my male instincts kicked in.
I was justified.
I grew madder and madder the more I descended down the pass. I wished I would have taken down the license plate number of the van or something. Of course I don’t know what that would have done for me, but at least I could have hunted them down later. They were long gone.
We approached the bottom of the hill where there was a dirt parking lot next to a nature preserve and low and behold…there was the van, and the fat chick that leaned out her window was walking across the parking lot.
I was justified.
I rode slower, gave her the one finger salute, called her some names at the top of my lungs and made sure she and the rest of the parking lot residents knew what I thought about her. It was all I could do to just keep riding slow with my finger in the air and not go over and let her know first-hand what a skinny spandex-clad 35-year-old was capable of.
I was justified.
I rode away, somehow feeling better about myself that I had insulted her properly. She would think twice before messing with cyclists again. And then God spoke.
“I was also justified.”
Sometimes it sucks being a Christian, just for the fact that I feel guilty for not taking the high road when I should have. My actions did not accomplish anything more than making me look like another religious hypocrite to the non-believers I was riding with. I had to ask for forgiveness.
I know that this world is never fair. God has instilled in us the power to take the high road and forgive the people that don’t deserve forgiveness. Perhaps the lady in the van will ride a bike herself someday and understand. Perhaps she will never understand. It does not matter really in the end. My wife and I were safe and the incident was over.
Next time I chew on my anger, I will have to pray and give it to the Lord. He had more reason than any of us to bring His wrath on humanity, but He gave grace in its place. That took a pretty amazing man to make that happen.
Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.