driving bothered I got into my hot car after the final stop of my morning errands. A foul-up at the self-checkout was going to make me late for a lunch date. I hate being late and I lost my composure as I drove to meet my friend and her 11-year-old granddaughter for lunch and a movie. I rolled through a Stop sign as I turned right. I drove above the speed limit. I changed lanes more often than I should, to save—what? a few seconds?

As I got out of my car in the restaurant’s parking lot, an older man driving a white pickup truck pulled up near me.

“Where did you learn to drive??!!” He raised his voice, “that was some reckless driving!!! You better be careful.” And then he drove away.

No profanity. No name-calling. Something bothered him. Could it be that he followed me because he was actually concerned about me and/or the other people driving around me? That’s what I chose to believe, and I took his warning to heart.

“Our character is not like a statue. It is more like an unfinished story.”

That’s a quote from Lewis Smedes, and he went on to say: “To speak of character is to admit that there is a thing called humankind.  We are not simply a huge collection of individuals, each one of his and her own kind. There is a kind of person we all are meant to be. There are some human qualities that God intends every individual member of his great family to share.

“There is a universal moral pattern, a shared character, an image of God, that is meant to filter through the private windows of all of us unique individuals.”

With steady perseverance we keep coming back, again and again, to allow the image of God to shine brighter in our own lives.

Tweetable: With steady perseverance, keep coming back to your focus on self-control in action. I lost focus and a gruff but kindly stranger taught me a lesson. Click to Tweet