Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I could've been killed

Driving to Grand Rapids this morning to make a hospital visit on one of our LIFEGroup members, I was moving with the traffic (under 70 mph) on what appeared to be a dry road (I-96)when suddenly everyone in front of me was slowing down rapidly (I later learned that there was an accident around the bend ahead).

I touched the brake and discovered I was now on ice. Careful brakework didn't solve the problem and it appeared I might not be able to stop before my front bumper arrived in contact with the back bumper of the car in front of me.

I eased onto the shoulder so if I wasn't able to stop in time I could ease up beside the car rather than raming into his trunk.

Unfortunately, the shoulder was not plowed wide enough for my car to fit without my left tire going into the snow. Immediately, the snow grabbed my car and yanked me downward into the median.

As I sailed into the median at perhaps 50 mph, instantly my windshield was totally covered with flying snow so I could not see anything. After traveling a little ways and holding the car somewhat straight so as to not roll, I realized that I could be about to emerge on the other side of the median into the path of approaching traffic. A head-on-collision was not high on my "to do list" so at that point I decided to turn my wheel so that moving through the median sidewise could slow and stop the car.

I was very much aware of the automatic response of asking God for help -- the prayer wasn't fancy -- probably a little like Peter's when he began to sink into the Sea of Galilee after his brief walk-on-water experience. "Help, Lord!"

Thankfully, He did and I stopped in the median's deep snow -- but only a short distance from emerging into the oncoming trafic. I was very much aware that I was a few yards and a few seconds from what could easily have been a fatal head-on-crash.

30 minutes and a $75 tow job later I was back on the road . . . grateful that God hadn't wanted to end my earthly journey quite yet. Not because being with Christ isn't "better by far" (Philippians 1), but because I'm not eager yet to stop investing in the people I love and in the ministry to which I've been called.

Thank you, Lord.

3 comments:

Redbaerd said...

WHA!!??!?!?

This is an amazing story dad.

It almost evokes the tall tales of our childhood with massive pike that circle the depths of mackinac bay just taunting the fearless fisherman who finally majestically, in the midst of a thunderstorm reels him in...

These days Addison looks grumpily at Lynn and I every time we reference the tooth fairy, and says, "I don't like to be tricked! Mom is the tooth fairy!!"

So since I know how unpleasant it can be to be disbelieved by a son, I'll go ahead and reticently believe you.

I like the part when the snow starts flying across your windshield best.

(btw, I'm glad you're okay. Is the car fine?)

ANTI-ONION SOCIETY said...

wow. I'm really glad you're alright.
This is *not* what I expected to see when I sat down for a post-dinner blog perusal.
I had a very similar experience(though not so deftly navigated and probably more of my own making) last winter..
Lots of people are sharing your gratitude.

Daniel Rudd said...

Dad,
Glad you made it.

It's strange because I was traveling down 96 myself, earlier that morning (eating a banana and tossing the peels out onto the road)....

anyway, that's not a very remarkable story in light of yours i guess.