When I hear those words I cringe. I hear the crunching of bumpers, the honking of horns, and screams of profanity – mostly by cab drivers I might add.
Why must such a beautiful city – rooted in history and culture be diluted by such terrible memories? I want to blame the person who created the “No left or right turns” – who made downtown Toronto a mess of roads that you can never get off of – and which seem to always be under construction. On friday while en route to my destination, right downtown at Bay St and Dundas St., I casually made my way down Bay Street, slow and steady (.4km/10mins) to reach 900 meters before my destination. To then be turned around by a traffic cop – sent through the go station parking lot and over to the next street – going in the opposite direction – with no left or right turns allowed. Needless to say, it was a hour-long U-turn. And much to my dismay – I had to do that U-turn twice that day – 2 hours of my time – gone.
But alas, it was worth it. My friend was getting married and I had made it there.
Living outside of town I tend to drive a lot and road rage seems to run in my family. I would get so frustrated when drivers didn’t understand that when the speed limit is 90km/hour, you shouldn’t go 70km/hour. I would base what time I would leave for work expecting to drive 100km/hour for most of the way there, and everyday I would be failed by the drivers on the way. That is until I realized that I was failing them. I was that obnoxious driver that thought I knew the roads best, that driver that no one ever wanted to have behind them – in fact, I was probably causing other people a little bit of road rage. I made a change. I decided that instead of allowing stress to build up inside, I started to pray for each person that I felt started that little fire of frustration. Instead of seeing them as a deterrence in my mornings I started to see it as God putting them there to slow me down, to take a couple breathes and not focus on me for a couple of minutes of my day. I would pray for that person, their day ahead of them and for the challenges that they would face. I started to enjoy my drives into town – prayerfully meeting new people everyday.
I am not perfect. In downtown Toronto, my class goes out the window along with the cabbies profanities. I spent most of my time in my car that day, through streaming tears of stress, praying for each individual car full of people. It was hard to keep the prayers serious, some we’re pretty snarky (Dear Lord, please be with that driver right there, because he is in a massive rush – which means there must be an emergency) so on and so forth. I believe God has a sense of humour – and I believe that he got a couple of chuckles out of me that day.
I am thankful that he allowed the headline of the paper the next day not to say; “B, Photographer, eaten alive by automobiles in DT Toronto.”
Let go, fear less, trust God more.