Why this road rage?


It is the typical week day that starts with the usual school run with my 7 year old daughter only that today we are about 15 minutes late than our usual time. We take our usual route only that this time round there a ‘snake’ of cars ahead, bumper to bumper.

A typical rush hour in Kampala City center which is reflection of the traffic congestion even on the City outskirts.

As we move along at a very slow pace, cars are now speedily driving past us and creating a second lane. This then blocks on-coming traffic on the opposite lane, we are now stuck…. No movement at all.  Some road users are ticked off and unpleasant words are exchanged in the morning and you pray that your little one has not heard and quickly roll up the glass to keep out the bad words.   So why this road rage in the morning?

Sally Davies, a clinical psychologist describes road rage ‘as a social problem on the increase in the world’. This is attributed to traffic congestion and increased levels of frustration on roads.

The above is very evident here as there has been an exponential growth of bodaboda and taxi drivers in Kampala alone making driving in the city especially during the rush hours such a menace. 

Sally Davies goes on to say that ‘road rage occurs when people who are already vulnerable to aggressive outbursts are led to express their rage and more critically direct it towards total strangers’. From behind the wheel, it is so easy to personalize relationships on the road. We find ourselves in a position of power and safety, free to insult other drivers verbally, make moves that restrict or obstruct them, make aggressive gestures with hands, flash our lights, sound our horns, or otherwise act out fantasies of being “in charge” – as if we had been appointed “Road Monitor”!

This description resonates with that morning episode I talked about earlier. These are the social problems amidst us and we need to arise as concerned citizens and begin to do something, we cannot continue to wait on the Government to address such issues. Probably as one reaches one we will begin to experience the multiplier effect and eventually see and experience the change we so desperately need to be demonstrated on our roads not so much for us but for the younger generation – the road users of tomorrow.

So how can we avert road rage?

Always remain calm and don’t take other drivers actions personally. When encountering another motorist’s bad driving and/or seemingly arrogant attitude, remember that it probably has nothing to do with you. Be defensive first and never put your life and vehicle in harms’ way.

A biblical perspective on anger and rage…..

We all need to be firm in obeying the rules, maintaining our lane and sticking to our rights, but also be flexible and prepared to step back if you see that the situation is about to escalate. If we can let’s report the bad drivers to the authorities especially if the misbehaving driver is driving a company car and telephone numbers are provided to report such occurrences.

If you are the type of person who allows just enough time to drive to an appointment, you might be more prone to temper and speeding. Please plan properly by adding at least another 10 minutes to your expected journey time and leave on time. This will allow you to better negotiate traffic or other unexpected delays, without worrying about being late and will make you calmer driver overall.

Traffic congestion is a given these days so better still plan on how to best use that time; you can use the time to listen to an audio book of that novel you’ve been meaning to read for months. Or better still connecting with God by listening to your audio bible; or if you have children, this is the time to connect with them through stories and passing culture from one generation the next. Anyway, be creative on how to make use of the time spent in traffic so it does not come off as all wasted time.

As motorists we all have a responsibility and numerous opportunities to cool the emotional temperature on the roads. Every small act of road courtesy, of giving way, a smile or gracious ‘thank you’ wave, making positive eye contact before you join a line, contributes to harmony.

We owe it to ourselves and other road users to be better drivers, to pro-actively manage our time and the factors that lead to road rage better and to control our emotions and reactions to our own stress, as well as to other people’s outbursts.

Let us all be vigilant in improving the driving experience on the roads in Kampala and Uganda as a whole!

Let us be kind to one another!

Breaking out……

What is breaking out of your comfort zone?

My attempt at answering this question is “stepping out of my comfort zone” meaning, doing things that I do not feel comfortable doing. Who wants to do things they are not comfortable doing? In my previous life I would be very fast to say not me, however time has led me to the realization that very little can happen for positive change if me or you stay in our comfort zone.

When Jesus said ‘to deny yourself and take up the cross and follow Him.’ He in essence was saying that we need to break out of our comfort zone to be useful for the kingdom of God. Almost everything in God’s plan calls for breaking out of a comfort zone and taking some risk. God called Abraham from the center of a great civilization to go out to a land he knew nothing about. He gave up his security and comfort and headed west, and that was the beginning of the people of God.

In Mark 10, Jesus is saying to the rich young ruler; who was basically a good guy, raised from childhood to be obedient to the commandments of God. The young ruler was a successful Jew who had power and possessions. Yet for some reason he was not content, and he had some doubt about his relationship to God. His religion was obviously just mechanical and legalistic. He did not have a personal relationship with God, and so he had no assurance of eternal life. Jesus shocked this young ruler by saying you lack one thing. He told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor, and then follow Him.

The point is that Jesus is using this rich young ruler to teach a major lesson. The truly committed person is one who is willing to break out of a comfort zone for the sake of the kingdom. If you are content to stay stuck in the comfort zone, you are not available to be used to fulfill God’s dream for you.

No pain-no gain is a biblical truth. Almost every beneficial change in the history of mankind demanded that someone break out of a comfort zone. A hurting world is seldom helped by comfortable people. It is people who are willing to suffer hurt who help the hurting.

Jesus was comfortable in heaven. He was rich beyond anything we can conceive, but Jesus became poor for our sake. He gave up perpetual pleasure and took on the persistent pain of a real human life. It was a life of rejection and then crucifixion. Had Jesus gotten stuck in His comfort zone there would be no plan of salvation, and we would face eternal condemnation rather than eternal comfort. We own everything to the fact that Jesus broke out of His comfort zone.

The best of people who just conformed to the system whatever it is get comfortable with what is in every realm of life. The only hope for change that can make a difference is a non-conformist who is willing to risk his or her own comfort for the sake of benefiting others. But Jesus says though it is impossible for men to break out of their comfort zone, it is possible with God. By the grace of God we can break free and be used to fulfill God’s dream for us. But let’s be honest and admit that we love our comfort zone. Who of us would not join the rich young ruler in being sad if we were told to sell all our possessions and give it to the poor?

All change is something of a threat. Change means you may have to move out of your comfort zone. If you try something new, or strive to develop a new relationship, it means a likely sacrifice of something old.

Peter was the oldest of the 12 Apostles, but he was more willing that the rest to break out of his comfort zone. He was the only one with the faith to step out of the boat in a storm to go to Jesus. That boat was the comfort zone of all of them, but Peter took the risk. He didn’t get far before he started to sink, but he did break free and gave Jesus a chance to show him that his security was not in himself, but in Jesus. It is often a leap of faith to break out of a comfort zone, for you may no longer be in control, but have to surrender your destiny to the Lord. This leads to a lot of discomfort to let go of the wheel and let another take charge. It is hard at any age, but all ages are expected to do it to experience God’s best.

We as Christians love comfort and hate to leave it, but it is not our goal. The goal is to be channels of God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. Our goal is to be Christ like in all areas of life. Our goal is to love God with all our being and our neighbor as our selves. Our goal is to fulfill the Great Commission, and do our best to see that the whole world hears the Gospel. There may be a great deal of joy and satisfaction in aiming for these goals, but on the other hand, there may be a great deal of risk and sacrifice. If our comfort is not leading us to success, then we need to face reality, and recognize the need to break out of our comfort zone, and be willing to pay the price of discomfort for the kingdom of God.

A second chance.……

I returned home from a long day’s work and as usual, had my hot cup of tea and chilling on the couch. My daughters had already taken their places in front of the TV. Britain’s got talent 2018 was showing and contestant, Gruffydd Wyn Roberts comes on stage to try out his chances. He initially sings a song I do not recall but Simon Cowell (one of the judges on the show) stops him a few minutes into his audition, because he was so nervous and sounded so mechanical. Simon requests him to take a deep breath and asked him to sing something warmer and boy he blows away the judges and the entire audience. And this got me thinking how many times God has given us second or more chances in this journey of life …………..

I wonder, if any of us has been in a situation in which you really wanted something to work out but it didn’t? You felt like if I just had a second chance, I know I could make this thing work. When we look back over our life, at some of the situations that we have been involved in and some of the choices that we have made, we think, if only I had a second chance.

If only I had a second chance, I wouldn’t have married who I married. If only I had a second chance, I wouldn’t have moved where I moved. If only I had a second chance, I would have finished school. If only I had a second chance, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in the things that I was involved in.

Merriam Webster defines second chance as “an opportunity to try something again after failing one time”. Which implies second as being one that is next after the first. (think about it). The spiritual significance of the number two in the bible denotes a difference. When we think about two or second in the bible we know that it is different from the first.

We notice that number one excludes all differences. (When you have one of something you have nothing to compare it with). When you have two of something, there has to be a difference. One has to be first and the other has to be second. They can be equal in all aspects, but they can never be the same.

The number two is the first number in which we can divide another. When the earth lay in chaos, its condition was ruin and darkness. The second thing recorded in connection with the creation was the introduction of the second thing which was light. When the second thing came into being, immediately there was a difference and a division. The bible says that God divided the light from the darkness and the light he called day and the darkness, he called night.

The second person of the trinity took on two natures, perfect God and perfect Man. There are two testaments, the old and the new. There are two natures, the sin nature and the son nature.

Sometimes when we make a mistake in life it feels so final. When you make a serious mistake you might think it’s all over for you. I want to let you know this morning that the game of life isn’t like a game in which you only have one chance to win before it’s over. I want to let you know that when you make a mistake in this life, with God you get a second or even third, fourth chances.

Even Tiger Woods who rose to prominence of the golfing world in 1997 suffered a number of setbacks that affected his performance. However 2018 was Woods’ year to ascend back to the number point in the world. Is that indeed a God of second chance!

The bible shows God’s of mercy. The word mercy means compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. Therefore compassion implies that forgiveness overshadows punishment. Even when justice demands it. (You see, justice demanded that each and every-one in here should have been dead, but mercy stepped in and said, not so.

Mercy is a word we throw around. We use it often in our prayers. We sing it in our songs. We talk about it in our Jargon, “There by the grace of God go I.” Justice demanded that you and I should die, but mercy stepped in and said not so. So great is God’s mercy that it is almost inexpressible. God’s mercy knows no limit. There is none who is beyond his saving power. His mercy reaches to the highest mountain and flows to the lowest valley. I love the lyrics of, “Amazing Grace ……. Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found, T’was blind but now I see.

The bible says that God is “God of mercy and compassion and that his mercies are new every morning.”

John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In order for us to walk day by day in fellowship with our brothers and sisters, we must confess our sins. Sins of commission, omission, sins of thoughts works or deeds. Sins of acts, secret sins, and public sins.

We got to drag our sins out into the open before God. Stop trying to cover up your sins, drag them out into the open, call them by their names, take God’s side against them and forsake them. He will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

Today is a new day, yet many of us continue to lead lives that remain the same. Our attitudes, habits and lifestyles remain unchanged. This is because we fail to realize that there is new life in Christ Jesus. He alone can wipe away the old and bring in the new. He alone can give us a new start in life. He alone can give anyone of us a second chance.

This past year may have gone very well for you. On the other hand, you may feel like you have struck out. We have all struck out in some areas. But the good news is that you don’t have to justify it somehow, or call failure by another name, because even though you may have messed up, there is always another chance to begin anew, especially with God. Anyone can get another chance; a new beginning; a clean slate? We serve the God of second chances. Our sins can never be greater than the grace of God. Our failure can never be greater than the love of God. Our failure in the past does not determine what we will become in the future.

Failure is not final. If failure was final none of us would make it. None of the people of the Bible would make it. In fact, the Bible is one story after another of people who messed up repeatedly, and how they were coached along by God until they got it right. Names like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jonah, David, Paul and Peter come to mind — along with many others. If failures were not included in the Bible there would be no one there. If failures were not included in the church no one would be here either. But the Bible also shows us that failure is not final. The Lord says, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). That’s why the Bible says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).