This has been an odd and frustrating day. It started when we were returning home from church and two people were riding their bikes in the middle of the street, moving from lane to lane to lane; and then proceeded to enter one of our 100+ roundabouts here in Carmel. Our city happens to be the roundabout capitol of the world and it is dangerous enough in a car, let alone on a bicycle. People just don’t how to drive in these traffic circles and you have to be on your guard or you are going to be in an accident. Luckily, although I cringed, the couple made it through without getting hit, clearly oblivious to all the turmoil they were creating around them.
A few minutes later, Janet and I stopped at the local Starbuck’s to get a venti Americano – our traditional after church coffee – we share it on the way home. The place was swamped with business and it took much longer than normal to get our take-out drink. And… it was made wrong. The barista said that I must have ordered it wrong but then checked the order and found out that she hadn’t bothered to read it correctly – I had, indeed, ordered it the right way. No matter… they fixed it (thankfully I looked to make sure before I left the store) and we continued our drive home.
That is, until we got in the first roundabout. Some lady, not paying attention, came out of nowhere and nearly broadsided us. The car next to us came even closer to getting hit than we did! We were fortunate, for sure, and she continued on her merry way without so much as a nod in our direction.
Once again, you have to know how to drive through these roundabouts or it can be very dangerous – and each one of them has its own idiosyncrasies. Some are one lane, others two, some have designated lanes for turning or going straight – and others are elongated so they are like large dog bones that you see over the major throughways.
Late this afternoon, after running an errand at the store, was the next event. I stopped to fill up my tank with fuel. I happened to pull into a lane that was open, stopped the engine and proceeded to fill up the tank. There was an attendant standing near me – and he was not paying attention to what was going on around him. It so happens that the car behind me was filling up while the engine was still running. That’s a dangerous thing – in fact, in most parts of the country, it’s absolutely against the law! Gas vapors can ignite and destroy the vehicle(s) as well as the pumps(s). If you ever have read the warnings at the pump, the first instruction says to shut off the engine.
Also, in case you didn’t know, you shouldn’t use a cell phone while fueling. That is similarly dangerous; and I hope it goes without saying that you shouldn’t smoke, either. Anyway, I asked the attendant about the running engine and he acted like nothing was wrong. Then, he read the sign about refueling and turned back to me. His response was the title of tonight’s post – “So, okay… you got me…”
That’s it… he wasn’t going to do his job or bother to follow the safety protocol. He was putting lives in danger and he just didn’t care. In fact, he walked away… It amazes me how many people just don’t care about others. This was the fourth time today that Janet and I experienced a real “laissez faire” attitude. I don’t know whether it is the isolation that we have all experienced this past year or just a selfish attitude, but things are really going downhill when it comes to caring about others.
I suppose at times that we are all guilty of not doing as much as we can to care about others. But it seems to be getting worse. The sense of entitlement in our world today is appalling. What the gas station attendant didn’t understand is that it wasn’t about “getting” him. It was about safety and caring for others. It’s almost like society has forgotten about the golden rule.
And that brings us to tonight’s verse. We are told the words of Jesus on this subject in the Gospel of Matthew, in Matthew 7:12, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” My encouragement tonight is that God wants us to care for one another – in spite of what many people might think. My prayer is that as we try and return to normal after the pandemic, we might heed the words of Jesus, as told by Matthew, and invest more time and effort in caring for others. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…