Welcome to another chapter in my series, Grateful Heart Monday, where I write about a piece of gratitude from my life, which for today is for the mere five seconds I was ahead of being hit by a huge Ford F150 fleeing from policeman who had guns drawn, an incident that ended up totaling several cars directly behind me.
Some say that timing is everything and I often feel that God has a hand in that. I once saw an amazing movie about this with Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Anthony Mackie. It was called The Adjustment Bureau and was about angels in human form, invisible to us, who influenced daily things in our lives through even the simplest of actions like spilling a cup of coffee onto a person or abruptly changing a traffic light when a car approaches, where in doing so allowed for something to happen or not to happen. I’ve often wondered if this very thing occurs in real life and I say this in all seriousness, I tend to believe it does.
How many random elements impacted the timing of my drive that day prior to me coming upon this unfolding crime scene I have no idea. Mathematically the number’s probably quite staggering. Forgetting my sunglasses and my bottle of water before I left the house, the home phone ringing (twice in a row in fact!) just as I went back in to get them, all those traffic lights I hit or missed along the way, the many cars, especially a few 18-wheelers that affected my drive on my way that day, there were so many factors that influenced the precise timing of where my vehicle was at any given time on the drive that day to my appointment with my sponsor in 12 Step recovery.
Nevertheless, when I ultimately found myself slowly inching around in the left lane by this large F150 stopped in the right lane on a local road near where I was meeting someone for coffee, an officer had his hand on his holster while he talked to the guy in the passenger seat of the truck. They both were yelling at each other, although I couldn’t hear what was being said because my widows were up. I could still feel all the tension though and was thankful once I got in front of the whole thing. Not five seconds later, I suddenly heard this huge kaboom and looked in my rearview mirror to see the driver of that truck trying to flee the scene and was now in the process of ramming multiple vehicles directly behind me as he tried to get away. Even after he had badly mangled at least three of them, he tried to continue driving his truck, but at that point it had become inoperable. As soon as that became apparent to him, he raced out of his truck that was now smoking and blocking both lanes behind me, all this unfolding only 50 yards or so from where I just was. The man was tackled in the middle of the street and placed in handcuffs and I continued on to my destination visibly shaken. Five seconds earlier, my car would have been one of those totaled and the fact that it wasn’t, and the fact that I wasn’t involved in any of that crime scene is something I’m extremely grateful for.
I already have enough physical pain in my life to deal with that I can only shudder to imagine how much more I would have had being struck with the force he did to those cars behind me. Beyond potential whiplash, PTSD, head or neck trauma, and of course the notion that I was driving my partner’s still relatively new car that day, I feel like I have a lot to be grateful for here. So, I’m dedicating today’s Grateful Heart Monday to the 5 seconds of time that meant all the difference. Did God influence those 5 seconds somehow? I choose to believe God did and I’m grateful for those 5 seconds I was ahead of that crime scene unfolding because they meant all the difference with my health, my partner’s car, and my life in general.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson