Narrator: This is one of those stories where you wish you had a cell phone or a pen and a piece of paper handy, but you just couldn’t find them at the time you needed them. You wish things went your way, instead of your provoker’s way. You wish you were left alone, but you were constantly harassed; suddenly and for no reason at all. This is a story that didn’t have to be a story. But because two young men didn’t have anything better to do than to pester a random victim, while on the road, it is a story. Here is Pete Loughton, a young man who was on his way home one night in a BMW that still displayed thirty-day tags, when he would encounter the driver of a red jeep, who’d test his patience, his sanity and his logic.
It was a summer night. 21-year-old sales associate Pete Loughton was on his way home. The light was red. At the turn of the light, he followed a red jeep onto a dual lane road, passed it and went on his way.
No sooner had each vehicle got in their separate lanes and Pete gone through a green light, did the same red jeep speed pass him and get in front of him. Instead of maintaining that same rate of speed, the driver slowed down. Waaay down. Like five to ten miles below the speed limit.
Pete was ticked. He got from behind the jeep to pass it, when the jeep sped up with him. Pete decided to accelerate a little more, hoping that somebody in the left lane, where the jeep was, would take forever to turn, giving Pete the opportunity to pass and get back over.
No such luck.
In fact, the drivers in front of the jeep turned out of the way in time, and the drivers in front of Pete that turned off took forever.
It didn’t dawn on Pete to make a detour.
He continued the same path on the way home. He slowed down to let the jeep go on, but even as he did that, the driver of the jeep slowed down.
He looked over to his left and saw two white males – the driver had a bald head, looked young and was laughing, and the passenger was also young with closely cut hair.
Why are they playing with me?
From the time he was behind the jeep at the light to now, he never imagined that he would be a random victim of harassment while driving. What’s more, from that point to his home, it took the average driver about 7 minutes to get there. But, those 7 minutes took about 11 minutes for Pete.
He would endure the entire time being provoked to anger; even when all traffic miraculously disappeared, turning off and going on.
This left the jeep and Pete’s BMW the only vehicles on the road.
As Pete’s left turn was coming up, he was still in the right lane. The jeep got behind him and turned the brights on, blinding Pete. Pete responded by slowing down to a full stop in the right lane, just a few feet from the traffic light near his home. He didn’t care about commonsense or wisdom now. He didn’t care about the fact that what he just did wasn’t a smart thing to do. At the time, he was too furious to think clearly. He was being aggravated and pestered for no reason. No reason at all. And he had had it.
He didn’t know these two gentlemen, hadn’t done a thing to either one of them, but was being harassed as if he had. He’d already looked around for a cell phone, but couldn’t find one.
Of course it’s never around when I need it.
The driver of the jeep got out from behind him and was about to walk up to Pete’s car, when Pete realized that he’d better pull off. Suppose the guy was packing a gun? Pete was a good-natured guy with a slight build, but knew he couldn’t stand a chance against the man that got out. The man was pale white, bulky and at first glance, appeared to be able to hold his own. Besides, there was another man in the passenger’s seat, who’d no doubt help whip Pete’s tail, if Pete’s would-be confrontation turned into a fight.
Pete initially thought that if he had stopped, then maybe the man would pull out from behind him. There were no more cars on the road and the man had a whole lane free to pass and go on. But, of course, this didn’t happen. And although Pete thought about both his life and his car enough not to get involved in a physical altercation with his bully, he was just too fed up to allow anymore God-given commonsense to kick in.
As Pete put the gear back in drive, he drove at a snail’s pace, his anger getting the best of him.
The man quickly hopped back in his jeep, proceeding to tailgate and blind Pete with his brights.
The light near Pete’s home changed from green to yellow.
Because the man was still playing with him, Pete purposely crept through, giving the driver of the jeep just enough time to pass under the light before it turned red.
Pete turned left.
The man didn’t follow, but drove straight ahead, hanging halfway out to flip Pete the bird.
Pete thought this was ironic, especially when the driver of the jeep was the one who’d started it all. Although he felt like they were even, Pete’s heart raced, because he knew it was the dumbest move he made all night.
Suppose the man had followed him further? Pete knew he wouldn’t have driven home, careful not to let the man see where he lived. Instead, he would’ve taken the man straight to the city police station. In fact, Pete was actually hoping that the driver of the jeep wasn’t done with him for this very reason; he would’ve told on him and turned him in.
By now, Pete was too pumped up with anger, too controlled by it to gain control over it. He yielded to it in such a way that it almost seemed impossible for him not to be mad at anyone he happened to see on his way inside his house.
How can the human race be so evil and so unkind? He wondered, slamming the front door behind him. How can people do things like that? The things I have to put up with in this world. I wish I were on my own planet. I wouldn’t have to deal with this nonsense. His brain was fired up, so fired up that it was the only one talking. He was too angry to articulate his thoughts. I didn’t do nothing to them. They provoked me. Out of all the drivers, why me? I mean, I don’t want anything to happen to anybody else, but…
It took him a long time to sleep that night, as he replayed the whole incident in his mind. Why him? Why? He kept thinking these questions over and over again, until finally his mind calmed down, allowing him to drift off to sleep. But first he made it his priority to repent for what he had done and prayed that the following day would prove to be better and smoother than the day at hand.
Moral: We never know what kind of day we will have before we have it, which is why it is important to pray and sincerely, so that we will know how to deal with situations better. Prayer may or may not prevent us from facing tough incidents, but it is guaranteed that the Holyghost will use us, assuming that we are saved. Pete Loughton was saved, but he didn’t take the time out to pray that night – to drive safe and smart, come what may – before he got behind the wheel. Thus, it pays to pray.