Filled with peace from a challenging worship service, having enjoyed an unusually small crowd at Trader Joe’s to pick up just three items, rejoicing in the onset of the Christmas season once Thanksgiving meals have been digested, heading home to watch my Rams on TV, in the fullness of time I needed to move over to the right side of the two lane road.
A large dark SUV cruised half a car length behind in my desired lane and didn’t leave enough room ahead to speed up and slip in considerately, so I slowed to drop behind him, looked to insure that sufficient room existed between the white Mercedes that followed him, signaled, and began my turn. Seeing that, the Mercedes driver sped up, closing almost all the distance between us.
I get that, Temecula traffic has become both heavy and rude since we grew from being a small cow town to a metro area of over ¼ million residents. But some irony struck me—the car who sped up in an attempt to not let me in sported a Christmas wreath on its grille. I thought of the angels announcing the birth of the Savior and Lord, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14).
Somehow, I missed the goodwill portion of that speed exhibition. But more than anger or frustration at that Grinch, I grieved at remembrances of my own Christmases past, of moments not long past, when I likewise didn’t pass on the goodwill blessings so inherent in Christmas. If one purpose of Christmas is to increase the goodwill on earth, then shouldn’t we followers do that? Consistently? Not just in the holiday season?
So, here’s the challenge. Until the Christmas season ends, commit yourself to fulfill the goodwill purpose of Christmas. Spread goodwill in how you drive. In how you work. In your tone of voice. Take advantage of opportunities to help people. To forgive more quickly. To…well, you can finish your list. You know yourself better than I do.
Maybe we can all do this enough to craft a new habit. One that spreads good will. To all. All the time.
Kick Starting the Application
Think a bit. Do you tend to share goodwill or frustration or self absorption the most? Does your driving style tend to increase goodwill, or decrease it? Do you sometimes endanger other drivers by texting or distracted driving? How about your attitude to strangers? How you relate to co-workers and neighbors and family? Do you give more goodwill to people who are nice, while giving justice to those who are not? What change will you make this week?