I originally published this a little over a year ago. But it fit so well with my 40 Day Journey that I wanted to share it again.
Yesterday, I was driving down a road I have driven many times. As I approached a red light, I turned my eyes towards my left. My plan was to come to a stop and make a right turn on red. As this is a path I had traveled often, I was probably not paying as close attention as I needed to. When I looked to the left, all the cars coming towards the intersection were getting into the left turn lane. My path was clear, I began to turn right.
Only after I began my turn, I noticed the barricades, construction equipment, and construction workers. They were patching holes in the street and had the entire street blocked off. My youngest child was with me and said, after I began the turn, “Dad, what are you doing?” I made a mistake. I was not observant. My path was blocked.
I now had several options. The first was just to be stubborn enough to keep on going. I could have pushed the accelerator to the floor and barreled through the barricades, equipment, and people and sped on along my way.
The second option was to open my door, get out of the car, and yell at the construction workers for being in the street working at a time that was not convenient for me. After all, I had somewhere to be; they could potentially make me late. Besides, it was after 5. They should be done working and headed on their way home.
The third option was to yell at my youngest child. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? Didn’t you see they were there? Why would you allow me to make such a mistake? You need to be aware of what is going on and inform me before I do something stupid.”
The fourth option was to say, “Oops. That’s embarrassing,” put the car in reverse, back into my lane, and wait for the light to turn green and continue my journey utilizing an alternate route.
One option was dangerous and potentially life threatening. Two options would result in the damaging of relationships. One option necessitated humility, opening my eyes, acknowledging my mistake, and finding a better solution.