If you think Texas has challenges politically, know that the challenge also exists on our roads. Drivers can be often inconsiderate, aggressive, and downright mean -spirited. It requires a lot of preparation not just with skill but mental resolve that you will not allow others to take your joy. It’s so easy to scream out in frustration because you are angry but even afraid of what could have happened with others that are reckless. I know it’s easy to think because you are behind the wheel that no one can see you and that your behavior isn’t being monitored because of tinted windows or high speeds that prevent you from being seen. I’ve realized in my life that you never know who is watching you.
One of my first jobs out of college was in fact, an example of not realizing others pay attention even when you think it doesn’t matter. My mentor, Zeb Strong, invited me to teach a series of workshops to high school students when I was just a few years older than them. The workshops were on diversity in the early 90s. As I reflect on what I taught them, I realize my experiences were so limited but at the time, it was impactful to them. A group of professionals attended every Saturday for the four weeks I taught a session. I thought they were not listening to me, but they were watching my interaction with students as well as listening to the content. Less than a year later, I was offered a job as a result of my work. Little did I know that I made such a difference. Michele Bobadilla gave me an opportunity of a lifetime to serve as an Assistant Director for the University Outreach Center at 21 years old. I learned so much on that job, but I will always remember that the job offer wasn’t the result of my resume (it played a part), but it was much deeper than that.
The other day I was driving on the highway, and I saw in my rear view mirror a reckless driver. I got over as a truck sped past me. He was going at such high speeds and weaving in and out of traffic. As I caught a glimpse of his back window, I saw in big letters the word ‘blessed.’ I wasn’t sure how to interpret it—was he blessed because of his vehicle, the manner in which he intimidated other drivers or that God protected him (and all of us on the road) from his destructive behavior? His message didn’t necessarily align with his actions (perception can be reality) and what could have been an opportunity to demonstrate being a kind or thoughtful driver, I think he forgot what he boasted. Seeing that was a wake up call for me. Talking the walk is so much easier than actually walking it.
How often do we talk about our faith, what God has done for us, or what we believe God will do, only to allow our actions to say something totally different? If we claim we believe in God, how are we representing God to others? Colossians 1:10 states, “so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” We are known not just by what we say but what we do. If we are going to talk about the walk, we must be set on exhibiting it: James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” No one is perfect but we must be committed to allowing our actions to speak for us as well. The world we live in demonstrates that there is a lot of confusion. As believers, it’s very clear that we are to do good work and glorify God in what we say and do. Otherwise, what makes us different? “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16, KJV)
We are called to be a light. It’s time to shine.
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry Podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the Vice President of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit drfroswa.com.