Forgive and Forget

I think a lot about forgiveness.

When I think about forgiveness, I realize that I’m blessed to have almost no one to forgive. At least for big things. I’m human, so there are, of course, a couple with whom I struggle. But for the most part, I have been pretty lucky in my life when it comes to relationships.

Most people are good.

I will admit, however, that I get short-tempered every single day. Particularly, I’m afraid, when I’m driving. Denver drivers test one’s patience. They drive fast and selfishly. They zig and then they zag. They run red lights. (Pet peeve ahead!) When merging, they whiz past everyone else until they get to the point where they must merge.

Who do they think they are?

So, as I was thinking once again about forgiveness, and patting myself on the back for being so near perfect that the need for forgiveness practically eludes me, it occurred to me that part of forgiveness is remembering that we don’t know a thing about the person in the car speeding past me.

Chances are, they are just self-absorbed pains in the butt. But perhaps that man who honks at me when I don’t hit the gas at the exact moment the light turns green just heard that his mother had a stroke and he is trying to get to the hospital. Or maybe the person who speeds past me going 55 in a 30 mph zone is taking his/her wife or sister or best friend to the hospital because she is in labor. It could happen. My niece went into labor with her fourth child and it went so quickly that my nephew barely made it to the hospital in time. He was driving near 100 mph in his effort to allow baby Faith to fall into the hands of a doctor instead of the floor of the car.

What I realize is that forgiveness isn’t just for big things. I should practice forgiveness towards everyone. As I brother always says: Don’t judge until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins. And not judging is, well, a little bit like forgiving. Not just seven times, but seventy times seven.

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