Thursday, September 8, 2011

Driving Fear - Part 4


Close Calls

It was September or October of 2002. Thanks to the sun, that is one of the worst times of the year to drive, and I had a class in Everett, WA. I had just left school to head home, and the sun was setting. I had to drive up a hill, and the sun in all its brilliance was just over the ridge of the hill, straight ahead. There was no way to avoid looking into the sun, as I would have had to block off the windshield or shut my eyes, either of which would have been dangerous. I couldn't see ahead of me, and I quickly realized that it would be too dangerous to continue forward, as the sheer brilliance of the sun was blocking everything. But the alternative was almost as dangerous. I realized I had to turn around, but that meant turning left into a parking lot, crossing the oncoming lane. I couldn't see if there were any cars coming! Finally, I said a prayer and trusted that God would protect me when turning blindly. They were some of the most terrifying seconds I have ever experienced, but God protected me and no cars came while I was crossing. Needless to say, I went the other way and made it home safely. But I will never forget that day, when God taught me an important lesson about faith. Sometimes all you can do is pray and trust that He will protect you, then make the leap.

Fast forward a few years, and I was going to a reunion for a former employer who had gone out of business. It was in the form of a picnic at Seattle's Carkeek Park. I got to the park and searched for our group. Nobody. I never did find the group, so I ate the food I had brought and left. I was involved in a play with UPAC Theatre Group at the time, and rehearsal was that evening. Carkeek Park is pretty close to the rehearsal and performance space, so I drove to rehearsal. The park is in a particularly hilly area of town, and as you are leaving, there is one corner that has a stop sign, and the hill on which you have to stop is somewhat steep. I hate waiting on hills as it is, since it's somewhat challenging to get enough traction to go forward rather than backward. In addition, that particular corner intersects a tree-lined street. Between the trees and the fence, it makes for a blind corner. So I inched forward as far as safely possible in order to have at least the front tires on a flat surface and so I could see around the trees. When it looked safe, I started forward again. Just then, a car that must have been going about twice the speed limit zoomed past, coming out of nowhere, and very nearly hitting me. If it had, I would have spun out of control and probably rolled down the hill. Thankfully, I had enough mental faculties left to get to rehearsal safely, but I was very shaken. I have not driven to or from Carkeek Park since. Again, God protected me.

I am incredibly thankful for God's protection. He has brought me through many close calls, and I have grown as a result. I would not want to repeat them, but I'm thankful that He's allowed me to experience them as He had a lesson for me each time.

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