This essay of mine appeared on Donald Miller’s Storyline Blog on July 22
Just recently I had a dentist appointment, and was without a car. No problem, I thought to myself. I’ll just ride my bike. The dentist’s office is only about two miles from my house.
But both tires of my bike were flat.
Still not a big deal. I had time to walk.
However, it was really hot outside, and by the time I got to the dentist, I was overheated, sweaty and, perhaps, a bit
cranky. I have issues with dentists anyway because of my hockey playing days in Minnesota and the movie Little Shop of Horrors, so that was probably messing with my head a little too.
When the check-up and cleaning and annual criticism of my oral hygiene was completed, I set out for home.
It had gotten at least 10 degrees hotter outside.
Five minutes into my soggy walk home, my wife called my cell phone.
“Where are you? I got home early.”
“I’m walking home from the dentist,” I said through bleeding gums.
“In this heat? What street are you on? I’ll come get you.”
My wife is the kindest person I know. I told her where I was, what side of the street I was on, and showered her with gratitude. I walked a few more blocks, thinking she’d be along any second. I even slowed down.
Finally, my phone rang again.
“I’ve driven up and down the street a couple of times looking for you but can’t find you.”
Then I spotted her tan car, sitting at a traffic light a few feet in front of me.
“Look over your right shoulder,” I said. “I’m coming up behind you.”
“There’s no one behind me,” she said.
The sun was blazing against the glass, making it impossible for me to see in the car, and, apparently impossible for her to see out.
“Now I’m right next to you,” I said. “Look out the passenger side.”
“I’m looking out the passenger side and I don’t see you,” she said.
Then I did something dumb, and probably a little dangerous.
I stepped directly in front of the car. Maybe exasperated.
“I’m right in front of you,” I said, waving my arm over my head at the driver in perhaps a condescending “Now do you see me?” gesture.
At the very instant my wife said “I’m in the parking lot of the gas station at the corner, and there is no one waving at me” I looked at the driver of this car that was clearly not my wife’s, who had a horrified look on her face. She stepped on the gas, swerved around me, and fled for her life.
I was sure it was her.
I was even annoyed that she didn’t see what was so obviously true. Despite the reality of what she was telling me, I didn’t believe her. I knew what I knew. My certainty caused me to take a dumb risk and scare the people around me. And I was wrong.
Ever done something like this?
How might your certainty be driving you away from the truth? What wrong move might you make because you haven’t considered someone else’s point of view?
Before you move forward in what you think you know today, ask yourself if you’ve considered the advice and warnings from the people in your life who care about you the most.
They might just keep you from walking out into traffic