Proverbs 3:21-23 Dear friend, guard clear thinking and common sense with your life; don't for a minute lose sight of them. They'll keep your soul alive and well, they'll keep you fit and attractive. You'll travel safely, you'll neither tire nor trip. (MSG)
Gliding effortlessly and without any control over my vehicle whatsoever, I suddenly slid sideways from the furthest left lane through two others to the right of me on the interstate. Blinding rain poured. All lanes were packed with semi trucks and autos. All I could think was, "Oh God! Oh God!"
I knew from driving on ice when I lived in Indiana and Michigan that I couldn't jerk or make sudden corrections with the steering wheel. So, while just lightly holding the wheel, I slightly turned the wheel and followed the car's course. Praying all the time that the highway edge didn't lead to a steep drop off to the frontage road.
The next thing I knew, I was facing the opposite direction! My red Isuzu spiraled around and off onto a grassy section. I waited and braced myself. Not knowing if I would head back into oncoming traffic, spin and hit traffic exiting, or find myself rolling toward fence posts that could impale me.
Instead, I tore a jagged path through the grassy area as I headed toward the frontage road. I glanced to see if there were any exiting cars that could collide with me, but the one car that headed my way slowed down to a stop and to gawk at my uncontrollable ballet.
I tapped on the brakes once I hit the roadway to slow down. Shakily, I turned the wheel to get myself off the road and facing south again. My car idled while I sat at the side of the rush of the three lanes of traffic when it hit me; the ordeal was over!
I survived a very treacherous journey waltzing sideways in front of semi-trucks and speeding cars. Not one scrape. No flipped SUV. I escaped unharmed; not even a wrenched neck.
My nerves were a wreck, so I sat there with my eyes closed just grateful, grateful... my heart raced and I breathed slowly and deliberately. Whoa.
A rap on the window brought me out of it and I could see a concerned matronly face wanting to talk to me, so I rolled down the window.
"I pulled off after you slid across those lanes full of traffic. When you headed down toward the frontage road, I thought for sure you were going to flip your car! I couldn't believe my eyes when you looped around, slowed and stopped like that."
"Right. I was ready for the worst. I loosened my hands from the wheel thinking the car might right itself. I am just so thankful that something slowed me down in time. I was headed right for those fence posts. Just a few more feet past the frontage road and this Rodeo would have flipped for sure."
"Are hurt? Do you need me to call for help?"
"No. Nobody to call. I'm just a little shook up. I'll be fine in a few minutes. Thanks though."
All I could think of was how I couldn't wait to roll up the window, become invisible again, and get on my way. But where was I headed? "Huh! Oh boy God, you sure have impeccable timing." I muttered.
It was just like I knew. This freaky shake-up might have been meant to end me, but God intervened. He didn't stop the incident, just modified it somewhat and shook me up so I would pay attention.
"Seems like I've turned a deaf ear to you, God, when you've tried to talk some sense into me. I guess I just wanted to do things my own way instead. Well now, you've got my full attention."
This near disaster was my free wake-up call. My protector did not call collect and make me pay the consequences. He was merciful this time. So, I decided not to wait a moment longer to set things straight.
My lunch date waited. Deep down inside I knew this guy was not headed in the same direction I wanted to go. We had dated a couple of months now. The trouble was that the closer I got to him, the more I knew I should end it all, but also it became harder to face that fact and tell him.
My heavenly dad was shouting at me today! "Girl, what are you thinking? Wake up and see that this is not a good choice for you. Let go and walk away!"
Whew. I put the car in gear, then checked for traffic before entering the roadway. Still, I felt a little shaken and weak. Finally, I reached the rendezvous with my date. Over lunch I poured out all that had happened to me since leaving my apartment. He just grew very quiet. He didn't ask to go check my vehicle. He didn't ask if I was alright, or needed x-rays, or anything. He was just quiet.
Well, could this spell things out any clearer? Rather, he was bummed and knew somehow that I planned to end our relationship.
After this clicked in my head I could not wait to leave. We talked a little longer. I thanked him for the good times, and wished him well. I walked out and felt a load had lifted off of me.
When I reached my little red Rodeo, I climbed in and began to hum. The sun warmed the inside, so I was cozy. I smiled. Funny, I thought. My car hydroplaned out of control just when I was drifting a little off from what I wanted in a serious relationship.
"God, you kept me safe twice today. I'm listening. Thanks for reaching out to me."