A triangular sign reading ''DRIVE FRIENDLY'' is a familiar sight along some of the highways and ''farm-to-market'' roads in Texas. To me, this reminder has always been a two-word condensation of the Golden Rule1 that Christ Jesus gave us in the Sermon on the Mount. Our consideration for other travelers as well as a charitable mental view of them is surely doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.
We may have puzzled over the change in attitude that sometimes develops when someone is behind the wheel in the privacy of his own car. Perhaps we ourselves have been perplexed and dismayed at our own aggressive driving habits.
Christian Scientists early learn in the study of their religion that no one has to be a victim of either his own or another's aggressive attitudes. They look to the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, for help in overcoming aggression, just as they do in meeting disease or any other challenge to their well-being.
In the Bible, John sharply reproves self-righteousness and emphasizes the God-given command to be loving toward others. He tell us ''God is love'' and writes, ''He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?'' 2
Mrs. Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, logically shows in her writings that because God is Love, man, God's creation, made in His likeness as we're told in Genesis, must continually express Love. So it's natural for us to be compassionate, considerate, patient, in all our activities, including driving. The divine fact of man as God's expression applies both to us as the driver and to those with whom we share the roadway.
God's offspring can't be hateful or incompetent. Turning in prayer to divine Love, we can discern this spiritual truth and be inspired by it to correct our own behavior and to help others as well. Praying to identify ourselves more as the expression of God, we learn not to view others as foolish or angry mortals. And this Christian standpoint, based on the reality of God's creation, heals.
A short distance from one of the Texas ''DRIVE FRIENDLY'' signs, several hundred cars empty from a factory parking lot into a two-lane road each weekday afternoon. Coming down the road frequently at that time, I found myself exasperated with the delay. Finally, realizing that I wasn't expressing a very Godlike attitude toward those drivers, I began observing their courtesy on the highway. Every day I found the Golden Rule expressed right there many times. Even with the array of cars coming out of a complicated set of exits, no one was needed to direct the flow of traffic. Emptying the parking lot took only a few minutes and was a wonderful illustration of patience and forbearance. Remembering Mrs. Eddy's words in Science and Health, ''At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good,'' 3 I stopped viewing the traffic as irritating and began to see the good my fellow drivers were expressing. Suddenly, one day, I realized that anger and frustration had disappeared.
Courtesy is certain evidence of the Golden Rule in action. Moreover, it's evidence of our actual nature as God's image, as the very emanation of Love. As we express more of divine Love ourselves and stick to the proper concept of others as God's perfect creations, we'll help bring harmony to the highway.
1 See Matthew 7:12. 2 I John 4:16, 20. 3 Science and Health, p. 571. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Put on therefore, as the elect of God....kindness....; for-bearing one another. Colossians 3:12