Made it home...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tough trip home.

I've done a lot of driving over the years and in the past have thought nothing of getting in the car and driving till I got to my destination. Even when that meant driving 24 hours at a time, or when we would drive from northern Alberta to southern Ontario for Christmas and we would drive for 60 hours continuously. It didn't seem that big a deal, when I was younger.

Many miles have been covered and there have been some incredible close calls through all those miles. That alone could convinced me that someone bigger than me has been watching out for me.

Tonight again, a couple of too close for comfort close calls.

The sudden realization that external events are beyond your control, a gut uttered three word prayer for help escapes your lips, you turn the wheel hard, as best you can to clear the obstruction, and you wait as time slows to a crawl to see if your helpless action and prayer was enough.

Tonight it was enough. But I feel like I'm getting too old for this kind of stuff.
It's those kinds of things that take the wind out of your sails, or at least they do mine. I don't feel like I cheated death yet once again and I don't feel like my great driving skills saved the day once again. I know better than that.

I've been to too many accident scenes, been called to too many hospital rooms, told too many people their loved one has died, and lost too many of my own friends to auto accidents, to think it couldn't happen to me. Because it could.

I don't spend a great deal of time thinking about that because it doesn't help. But these events take my breath away, they get me in the gut. I am keenly aware of the thin line that exists being here and not being here and I know that we all live closer to that line than we may realize. Maybe it's not bad to occasionally remember that.

It is a comfort in a strange sort of way, to know that when I suddenly find myself in those difficult life and death moments when time slows down, that my gut response is a prayer. Not a curse, but a prayer. Whenever it is my time to go, I can't think of a better thing to be doing, than praying.



  1. Glad you made it back in one piece, even if there were hairy moments.

    I think you and I have reached that age when the crazy endurance and laissez faire attitude of youth is no longer sustainable. Although we feel the same inside, the coat of meat and bones we wear can't keep up any more.

  2. Toni and Randall,
    I doubt you guys are really over the hill yet but maybe you have lost the "care"lessness of youth; have come face to face with your mortality and humanness and all that it entails. I still love driving at my age but not so much on slippery roads and when my kids express that they sometimes fear for me on the roads, I take them more seriously.

    And, I too hold dearly the fact that I never drive alone.

  3. You're both well onto something.

    Is this why older people seem to drive at a snails pace??

  4. Randall, I don't think I've gotten to the snail's pace stage yet. And I don't think real slow so that others take chances passing is very safe driving either.

    I sort of dread the day I have to slow down too much.

  5. I remember going through a time when driving seemed very stressful...probably exactly what you, Toni and Linea, are speaking about...and most likely because I wasn't the best driver (perhaps I'm still not), but for some reason now driving long distances by myself (and even in snowing conditions) does not make me anxious like it did a while back.

    It is quite wonderful to look back on the times of those "life and death" moments on the road and elsewhere, when I'm driving or someone else is...the first thing to come spewing out of my mouth, rather loudly on some occasions, is a mighty call to my Heavenly Father. It's even more wonderful to know that His promise to be always with me is true and matter what.

  6. I think the issue for me is that I can't do stuff like I'm in a race all the time any more. My vision has deteriorated over the last 2 years and I've become aware that I can't track stuff around me with the pin-point accuracy I took for granted 10 years ago. That doesn't mean I drive slowly, but it does mean that I don't feel comfy pushing a car to the point of break-away on familiar corners when the roads are clear. It's part of the reason I gave up biking - it's no longer safe to drag the undercart all over the place and split the traffic.

    I'd like to believe slowing to 'ordinary speeds' is being sensitive to God wishing to give the angels a break from minding me ALL the time. ;)

  7. Exactly Toni,
    "I can’t do stuff like I’m in a race all the time any more." That's putting the right words to it.

    This aging thing really really is lousy.

    This year has been a killer on my vision too. So much change in such a short time.


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