karen and the big-ass truck

Posted: September 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Last week I did quite a bit of driving in my adorable new car through the cornfields and beanfields of rural Illinois in warm weather (that’s what you gotta do to get almost anywhere, in this part of the world.)  Inevitable result:  my windshield was gruesome evidence of the mass murder of many twilight bugs without the good sense to stay out of the roadway.

So Sunday on the way to church, I stopped for a bit of gas and, more importantly, a serious elbow-grease session with the window squeegee.

A few minutes into the task, I noticed a truck had pulled up close behind my car.  The kind of truck with which I used to have daily unpleasant encounters when I was driving 45 minutes on the open highway each way for work.  My name for them, from that time, was “big-ass trucks.”  The kind whose hoods are about the height of my head, with supercabs and often sporting a set of balls suspended from the hitch (har har some folks are so funny!)  The kind that drove up too close behind me after dark, blinding me with their headlights in the rearview mirror so that I almost had to just pull off and let them by for my own safety’s sake.  The kind that passed me on treacherously icy roads, fishtailing with their dually behinds nearly making contact with my car, terrifying me.  The kind that exuded I own this road, and you ain’t got no bidness being in my way.

Yeah, I developed a serious bad attitude about big-ass trucks when I was a daily driver.

So here sat this big-ass truck, idling loudly behind my car, its inhabitants glaring at me.  I was unimpressed.  There were only 2 gas pumps in use and a whole bunch free.  What was their deal?  How were they more entitled to my spot than I was?  They needed to just breathe a little bit or something.  I continued cleaning my windshield, determined to remove ALL the bug juice before moving along, no matter how much they wanted me to move.

Soon, the driver got out and pulled a gas can out of the back and started filling it with diesel.  Okay, looks like he worked out his issue, I thought…though I noticed both he and the girl in the truck were still shooting me looks that would peel fresh paint.

My windshield clean, I put the squeegee away and went around to the passenger door to get my purse so I could go in and pay for my gas.  That’s when the girl got out of the truck, her voice shaking with anger, and snarled, “Could you please move your car before you go in and pay?  I need to put diesel in this truck.”  Trust me, adding please to this sentence was not making it any bit less hostile or more polite (some folks do seem to think they can be as rude as they want and it won’t be rudeness, if it contains polite words).

I shrugged, said sure, and then mumbled aloud about cheerful people in my best passive aggressive jerk voice as I got in my car, worrying that the clerk would think I was trying to drive off without paying and would all the police.

Oh boy, what an example of Christ I was to those inappropriately angry big-ass truck folks, eh?

In the future, I’ll know not to use the pump next to the diesel pump.  That seems like a good way to avoid irritating those who own the roads and every area through which they pass.  YES I am a judgmental wench, when it comes to big-ass truck drivers, and it is to my shame that I seem to continue choosing to be that.  So I spent my drive from the gas station to church apologizing out loud to the Lord, noting that so far I am not inclined to change my attitude on this front and so I’ll be needing Him to change this about me.  Noting that I chose to be angry just because the girl yelling was angry.  There is no rule that says I have to be angry just because someone else is.  The prayer warrior in me has proven time and time again that I can bear the anger of others in peace and even have compassion for them as they are treating me in a craptastic fashion…but I have to want to.  I have to be yielded to Holy Spirit in me.  I have to care more about God’s agenda for the world than my right to be treated the way I want to be treated.

And really…how miserable does a life have to be to leave a person going off at a stranger for sitting a couple of minutes too long in one’s way?  That’s a level of captivity that I wouldn’t want to endure.  So I should be recognizing the need expressed by such behavior.  Prayer should be my automatic response.  Mercy should be my instant behavior.  Grace should be my default setting.  Passive aggressive baloney shouldn’t be part of the program at all.  I had an opportunity to model love, and instead, I was just another jerk, making no positive difference in the world, where this exchange was concerned.

And that, folks, is just one of the million-and-one reasons I am sure today that God’s not finished working on me yet.

much love,


  1. this one is exquisite. so fresh and funny and familiar. we may use different words and envision other circumstances but the message you share here is spot-on and truly a one-size-fits-all one.

    I, too, have these conversations in my head and this long looks at what I am REALLY doing when I show up in my Life.

    you make me want to keep on writing and sharing what I write. and since wild horses couldn’t STOP me from writing, that’s a pretty “big-ass” thing.

  2. karen says:

    thanks for the encouragement, currie!

  3. thredd says:

    when i got to tx i would have done anything for a big arse truck or a uhh “we called it the white pedophile van” “black magic barbie and the cia van thats following you van” other thing as such… really its so i could put a full sheet of ply wood to make frames for art, later all equipment and bandmates comfortable. and then so we didnt have to sleep outside in the cold for “away gigs” because …you know those hotel 6’s are really expensive and uh “things happen over the other side of the tracks” that “a young girl “does not write home to mom about” . i think one time lee and i used out gear to barricade the motel door SHUT while certain transaction were being made while we were on the OTR tour. [film for radio?] we then were later accused for the appearance of evil for actually staying in same apartment together in another neighborhood.same year. HOW DOES THIS GAME WORK MOMMI? ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE! YAY! and see MY REAL MOM AND MY REAL DAD KNEW WE WERE IN ThE SAME APARTMENT. i called them everyday! yurs truly R! I DO STILL BELIEVE EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. LITERALLY. 🙂 love lasts big force! ROCK ON K! okay! in all things GIVE THANKS! >>>> I CRY MERCY! <<<<<

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