The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "Road Rages Comes From Many Sources And Is A Terrible Ugly Thing"

Greetings to all in Western Illinois. I'm a hope'n everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and used the event for what it was originally intended to be.

Now that the first measurable snow is upon us we need to allow love, joy, happiness, and Thanksgiving to fill our hearts.

Probably, by now, everyone has read of the Wal-Mart employee trampled to death by a crowd in New York rushing to obtain bargains.

Stories are told of people pushing, shoving, and stealing from carts. This to buy gifts on Black Friday to celebrate Christ's birth. One wonders what must have been going threw their minds. What kind of people are out there and what motivates them.

Eventually one comes to realize how fortunate we are, living in Henderson and Hancock counties, supposedly far removed from that type of tragedy and mentality.

Well, think again. The following story happened right here in our area and I'll share the story with you, just as it was given by a man with Christ's love in his heart for all mankind.

It goes as follows: "I was traveling back thorough Galesburg on Route 34, a 4-lane highway, as I typically do following Thanksgiving. We do missions of mercy by donating food and groceries to homes for unwed mothers, the poor-identified by various church groups of all faiths, and this year-victims of the flood.

My 12 year old van was loaded heavy in the back end. My heart was filled with compassion. As is our custom, all of this work, must remain anonymous.

Don't let the right hand know what the left is doing and don't do good for glory or fame.

As I neared a construction zone, that narrowed to one lane, with posted speed, a vehicle pulled up behind me, very rapidly, sped around and sharply pulled in front of me in a reckless manner just in time for the narrowing of the road.

After the construction zone he slowed down in a manner as if he wanted me to pass. As I passed, he pulled abruptly behind me, dangerously close to my rear bumper.

Then he turned on his bright halogen lights about the time we were nearing the prison. The light was so intense, it blinded me to the point of limiting my drivability. I knew a semi and other cars were nearby.

I immediately slowed down to avoid an accident. The menacing vehicle then passed and I saw it to be a fairly new Buick SUV license number KRAR68.

I worried, was this a drunk, somebody on narcotics, somebody associated with a prisoner, or just a mentally deranged person out to commit suicide.

I ruled out road rage as I had done nothing to harm anyone, as I knew it, and after all I was on a mission of mercy.

What I found out eventually was much worse than I had supposed.

I followed him all the way to Monmouth as my normal travel route. Sometimes he drove very slow and sometimes very fast, as if his intent was to get behind me again.

I couldn't let that happen, for the Lord only knew the intent of this driver.

Ahead of us were farmers yet working the fields trying to beat the weather.

Some would be traveling with their slow moving vehicles, on these very same roads as this dangerous driver was on. What, must I do, how can I warn them to watch out and get out of the way?

All farmers know and understand how merciless some of these highway drivers have become.

Most have been chased to the ditch more than once by some driver with their eyes glaring. What must this driver be like? How dangerous is he?

Does he have a gun or is his vehicle his only weapon of vindictiveness?

As we arrived in Monmouth, he turned into Cerar's restaurant, taking up two full parking places as callous as he could be. I pulled in right behind him, to block his path, if he were drunken or on dope, so police could arrive.

Then I noted a sticker sign neatly placed on his tailgate for all to see. It boldly postulated: "Worship at Wesley United Methodist Church".

Out popped a neatly dressed man with a full white beard closely cropped. He appeared sober, at least at this time. With him was his wife or girlfriend, both dressed prim and proper. He looked to be a descent man, a person I could reason with as to the pain he had caused me.

Boy, was I ever fooled by deceiving looks.

Immediately he stated my lights "were too bright for him,", so he used his vehicle to punish me. The weight in the rear end of my auto might have made them appear brighter than normal I thought. I asked him if this is normal behavior for a Wesley United Methodist.

Then his wife and/or girlfriend began to lie and make excuses just as Ananias and Sapphira did in Acts 5, 1-10.

I invited him to look into the back of my vehicle to see the extra weight. Maybe he could see the problem and we could become friends, after all.

He and she were not interested, as they rushed into Cerars like two children caught with their hands in the cookie jar. No love displayed by those two Wesley United Methodist people. Or maybe it was just that they were too hungry or too thirsty to waste time on me.

First of all, I'm thankful he was not driving an armored tank as his weapon of vengeance and discipline. Secondly, I did ambulance work for a number of years and witnessed many terrible accidents. Much of it so horrible it is beyond description.

Why would he subject others, especially his wife or girlfriend to such danger?

The third thing was that he was dressed somewhat as a minister. Was he out on the town maybe a way from home on a fling, doing a little drinking, maybe some partying, and the home congregation will never know?

Were his thoughts, "Let's have a little fun with this guy in this old clunker car and the driver all alone?"

Was he thinking his bright shiny Buick SUV will show this, lower, class driver who rules this road?

Was he motivated by the fact no one this far from home needs know and he surely knew no one around here? Was he thinking any of these things my mind wondered?

When I got home I called a local pastor to find where Wesley United Methodist Church is located. The only two that he knew of were located at Bloomington and Macomb. Both college towns.

I looked them up on their website. The scripture by the day, on the Macomb website, was II Peter 3, 10-11.

"You ought to live holy and Godly lives".

On the radio I heard a minister state forcefully, "It is the Christians responsibility to present Christ to the world.

Neither of there thoughts fit these two in the Buick SUV with "Worship at Wesley United Methodist Church" posted on his tailgate.

Would Christ or would Wesley use automobiles as instruments of punishment?

This man with his sticker on the back of his vehicle was "talking the walk but definitely not walking the talk".

Too far from home for that. Besides what slack should he cut these country hicks, unable to afford a new SUV and he from a sophisticated college town.

I went home and prayed for those poor souls. First that Christ's love might truly touch their hearts and secondly that God would watch over he and his friend that they not only arrive home safely but not harass or harm anyone along the way. And, if it would be that he or she were a preacher, I prayed for his or her congregation, and that Christianity not be judged on their behavior. Also, I prayed for the power to forgive them and that bitterness not be allowed in my heart."

There you have then, just as it was given me. "Road Rage" comes from many sources, not just certain stereotypes. We all should be on guard to prevent it from overcoming us, even if we are preachers, friends of preachers, or just common folk. It can cause a fatality as it almost did with my friend.

Postulating takes on many forms but this man's sticker was not making the grade when compared to his actions.

Catch ya Later

Barnyard Bruke