Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why I Don't Have A Fish On My Truck

In ancient Rome, it was against the law to openly declare oneself a Christian. So the practice developed of scratching a fish symbol in the dirt to indicate one followed Christ. Even today the fish symbol is displayed to indicate that one is a Christian.

When I purchased my pick-up truck, I thought for a while about putting a fish symbol on the back to tell the world I am a Christian. I soon abandoned the idea.

I am the type of person who has no patience with rude drivers -- ones that tailgate, cut me off, or stay in the far left lane when they should be merging. I have been known to be "hot on my brakes" when a driver is too close. As you might imagine, I love the smell of burning tires. I have been known to salute the driver who cuts me off. I have also been known to practice the "box-out" theory to prevent a rude driver from getting ahead of me after I have waited in line.

As you can tell, I really don't have much patience with rude drivers -- the ones who think their time is more valuable, the ones who like to put others at risk in order to gain one car length, the ones that swerve from lane to lane in order to get to their destinations five minutes earlier. So, I opted not to put a fish symbol on my truck. I probably wouldn't make a real good witness for Christ.

But then it hit me the other day! Since when does being a Christian mean giving up all rights and power? Is Christianity all about being a doormat for others to just walk over and take advantage of? To my memory, I have always had justification to be upset at rude drivers, Why shouldn't I declare to the world Christians have power? They have rights, and they can show righteous anger!

What do you think? Should I put a fish symbol on my truck or just keep my American flag?


Anonymous said...

Maybe we should all move the fish symbol from the back of our trucks to the dashboard.

Anonymous said...

There's a joke about a lady (no offense ladies) who did all the things the original writer of this article mentioned, and more. A policeman pulled her over and questioned her about the concern that the car was stolen. She had religious symbols on her car, so the policeman assumed the car couldn't be her's.
I have been known to lose my "cool" now and then (I sometimes have a low threshold of patience for rude people). But in my state we have license plates that say "In God We Trust". I have one, and find that when I'm about to return driver rudeness, the thought of that plate on my car often helps me to think twice about my response.

Mark Femmel said...

God said "Love one another as I have loved you"... but He also said "Vengeance is Mine. I will repay."

God may discipline you for blocking someone with a good reason to rush.

I let them go. If we leave it in God's hands, He just may give them a flat tire as everyone else cruises on past.

The "Right Rev" said...

If it's honest answers you're looking for . . . then the thing you should actually do is not worry about whether or not to put a Christian symbol on your bumper, but worry about whether or not Christ is in you to begin with. Frankly, you need to repent for the horrible, self-serving way you treat other people on the road.

"Since when does being a Christian mean giving up all rights and power?"

Since about the same time when Christ said, "Take up your cross and follow Me." Doesn't sound much like "rights" and "power" have anything to do with being a Christ-follower.

The Layman said...

I comment a lot in a local newspaper and at times I really want to get carried away and really GET RAW and mean. The only thing that stops me is I use my personal name....and to a point I HONOR my families name. Using ones real name keeps my mind in check just like those little cross lapel pins or tie-tacks. However I do understand your road-space feelings.

Big Papa said...

I of course never do this, but when my wife, tries to block someone out or gets inpatient with the driver in the left lane that won't get out of her way, I kid her that she is just trying to get ahead of them so that they can see her fish symbol.

Ed in Davie, FL said...

When I leave the driving time to God, he honors me with good time most of the time. Sometimes, I'm late due to an accident blocked road or a light malfunctioning. But I usually still arrive relaxed knowing God was with me all the way. Have you ever thought that the fish on your vehicle might actually help you remember who is in you in the driver's seat? If you have Jesus in you where does He sit when you are acting like that through traffic. When someone cuts me off, I thank God that the doctor in front of me will make it to the hospital in time to save a life. He might not be a doctor but that is my right to think of him/her that way. Have you ever rushed to the hospital? Have you ever had the alarms screaming at your house or business? I know there are selfish,rude people driving without any care about you or fairness on the road. But that isn't our concern, our place is to show Jesus in us to others when sitting, running, walking, talking, driving, and everywhere else. I'm not perfect. I make mistakes in driving but a fish is on all of my family's cars.

Richard Klatt said...

I find that saying a short prayer for the driver helps me to remember Who is in control of my life and Who enables me to actually pray for that person. The prayer need not be a long-winded one, but rather simple: "Lord, please watch over that driver and help them drive more safely and not cause any accidents." By the way, the prayer also helps calm me down - I need it, for the last 8 years I've been driving 150 miles round trip per day to my job.

God's peace be with you, especially on the road.

Phil Gnadt said...

As a touring and commuting motorcyclist I have learned that 'road rage' can have very few good consequences. Trading paint with anyone, I lose. Being distracted by the tailgater or the on-coming SUV (person) that just turned left in front of me for more than a split second, means that I am not able to prepare for the next hazard or schmuk that can take me out. Thus, I have reduced road rage to almost nil. This self preservation skill has carried over to driving my car. I rely on the power of the Spirit more than the 'Safety Power' of my bike.
Try thinking of yourself as a vulnerable motorcyclist (with a fish on the back) and like the "Fonz", stay cool.

lutheranmen@aol.com said...

Greetings, As a Christian, I have put a Fish Smbol (and Crocc) on my Dash where I can see it and refer to it when another driver drives aggessive or stupid..helps me remeber whose I am and to pray that he or she doesn't harm anyone.

As a safety manager, i would say to refocus and give thanks you weren't injured and were driving safely, calmly and defensively; allowing time to react to those irritating drivers.

Hopes this helps,
Charlie-Babylon, NY

Rick Weiss said...

I have always enjoyed revenge, I literally made people pay for wronging me.
Then I came to Christ, God changed me from the wicked man I was into his disciple, His love of me who is certainly not worthy of it. God humbled me so much that I gave my life to him. Literally gave my life to him to use. And so I say this, Die to self daily, bend a knee and Pray " thy will be done" take my self from me so that I may be used by you Adoni today. :)