God could have killed me today.
sounds a little dramatic, but it’s true.
(maybe you shouldn’t read this one mama)
since i grew up and learned to drive in iowa, i feel fairly confident taking my rear-wheel drive town car (tony) out on slippery roads…when necessary. i learned how to maneuver him through the slickest of terrains…how to correct him when he fishtails…and not to park him facing uphill unless i plan on backing out of the spot. when my dad gave me the car….he said,…”it’s not a car for northern weather, so be careful.” so, when i moved to dallas three years ago, i knew tony would be just as happy about the warm weather as i was.
dallas faces few “artic blasts” but when they do…it’s trouble. this is mainly because it’s not common and no one knows how to respond to it. the roads are bad and the drivers are worse. most businesses shut down and schools begin closing with just the predictions of snow in the forecast. it’s laughable to a northerner….but also terribly frightening. frightening because, where i once had confidence…i now have uncertainty and anxiety.
i drove to work this morning a total of four blocks to the interstate and then about fifteen miles to get to the office….the only office in dallas, that never seems to shut down. the roads were covered with ice….every bit of them, even the interstate. the news reported 60 sand trucks patrolling the major highways and overpasses. (sand…another thing i’m not use to as a northerner….we take our slick roads with salt, please) as i drove in, i was surrounded by about 20 other drivers…a drastically smaller amount than the normal rush hour holds, but still 20 too many as far as i was concerned.
to me, it looked like the sand was being mostly reserved for the ramps, bridges and overpasses….if there was more on the road, it had already been covered up with the snow that was blowing around. some people drove fast…and some people drove slow….most of them drove way to close to each other and me. there was fishtailing, panicked braking at the sight of ice, skidding and spinning across four lanes of traffic and slamming into a median wall….there was danger, life threatening danger…and that’s what makes an iowan…not so confident to brave the slick roads in texas.
not only were the drivers around me frantic, inexperienced, horrible winter drivers…but my own car was the most stubborn i have seen him in a long time. he fishtailed the whole way to work…up hills, across bridges…just for his own enjoyment?! i must have scared every driver around me to death with the amount of times my backside wandered into the next lane.
when i finally got into the office…hands still gripping my steering wheel at ten and two….i probably took my first deep breath of the drive…and immediately wanted to cry. i can’t explain it any better than just saying, i’m a girl…and sometimes that’s the only response i can muster. (for the record, i didn’t actually cry)
i got to my desk and pulled up the first assignment i could think of, just to dive into thinking about anything besides how i could have really injured myself on the way in to work today.
the first time i spoke out loud to a coworker, my voice cracked and my eyes immediately filled with tears…i was just overwhelmed….and didn’t know why these emotions were surfacing. it just seemed silly. i turned back to my monitor and put my headphones in and turned the music up…and took a few deep breaths to stifle the tears that were trying to make their way out of my eyes.
i finally made my way to the bathroom, to pull it together and thought…i could be at home, but i’m not….i could have died on my way here…but I didn’t. God gave me this day…and he protected me all the way to work. so, what should my response be? should I be upset that the weather is so horrible?…should I be mad that my office was open and I drove up here?….or should I be grateful that I have been given this day, ice, scary car drive and all…and was protected from harm throughout it? admittedly, i was feeling the former.
God could have killed me today…but he didn’t. sometimes it takes a treacherous day…to remember how grateful i should be for every day. because my time is fleeting, I am a mist…here in the morning and gone with the afternoon sun. I have been praying lately for a better grasp of how quickly the days pass…and to have open eyes for opportunities and a grateful and trusting heart for God’s will for me. in hindsight, this morning’s experience put those prayers into practice…and while i can’t say i’m proud of how long it took to gain perspective….i am grateful for the lesson…and the grace and mercy that comes with it.
“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah”
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