Yes, we each choose what we will believe, and tonight, I gratefully choose to believe in miracles, not coincidence.
We’re currently at a motel in Beaver – after a miraculous near-miss on the way home from the Nisson’s 90th birthday celebration today. There was black ice on a short stretch of northbound I-15, and at 80 mph, in the dark, I came upon a car sitting in the middle of the freeway, perpendicular, with no lights on, and swerved to barely miss it, and then swerved the other way to miss the other cars on the side of the road, and spun out on the black ice and ended up doing a 360 and barreling into the snowbound furrow dividing the interstate, facing southeast and stuck in the snow and mud. We were OK, and even the car seems to be relatively unharmed. Both seem like miracles to me.
So we’re offering up prayers of gratitude tonight.
Sister Nisson came out specifically to remind us, as we left her home, to be sure to pray for safety (without either of us knowing that there was anything amiss with the weather on the way home), so we did, of course, and I had just barely taken over for Kathy in Cedar City when we encountered the freakish conditions near exit 95 on I-15. Both of us were glad I was driving, and was able to react with “inspired” reflexes to avoid a catastrophic accident.
I’m not going to say I’m leading a charmed life (this is the second “saved from death” accident in the last 4 years – the first being a jet-ski accident in Sept. 2007 where I was fished out of a lake near Dallas after being found floating face-down in blood-red water for who knows how long), but I’d be ungrateful if I didn’t acknowledge the Lord’s hand in preserving me twice now.
Some “coincidences” that I choose to regard as important factors preventing a disaster:
- Sister Nisson gave me a Coke to drink before leaving her home, giving me that split-second of extra reaction time I needed. I normally don’t drink Coke.
- Kathy had started driving, but had asked me to drive since she was already starting to get drowsy. I agreed knowing I’d had the Coke.
- I had just switched to the middle lane. The darkened car was blocking the left lane and half of the middle lane.
- Even though the several cars that had just stopped on the right-hand side of the road didn’t have their emergency lights flashing, they at least had their lights on which helped me avoid them and see the darkened car.
- I’ve experienced black ice before when going much slower, so I knew how to steer the car (more like make it move while sliding around).
- We had a Lexus with front-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes, both of which made all the difference in being able to slow down enough to avoid hitting the darkened car as I swerved to the right, and then change direction to avoid hitting the parked cars on the right as we used the dividing furrow to stop our car.
- There was enough snow in the furrow to stop us and keep our car from suffering serious damage.
- By the time we left the freeway, we were at just the right angle to back down into the snow and “ditch” without rolling, which was a distinct possibility given how fast we were still going even while spinning.
I believe in the power of prayer, but I’m fully aware that a reasonable person could draw the conclusion that we’re just lucky, not blessed. The basis of my faith is that I know that our Father in Heaven have given us each the freedom to choose what we believe as a precious birthright.
It’s safe to say I have a renewed sense of grateful purpose in life.