I could see my street sign. “Blue Springs” glowed faintly in the reflection of my yet far away headlights. It taunted me. It wasn’t THAT far, I rationalized. Just past the dip in the road. I was almost home. It was late and I was tired. I had antibiotics, lysol and popsicles in the car. I was ready to do battle with bacterial infections and fight fevers, but I was not ready for this: a micro flood.
The small creek that runs along the main road outside my subdivision had exceeded flood levels. Instead of flowing UNDER the road through the carefullyengineered drainage pipes- the water had taken over the road. I could see it’s steady current flowing across the street. My headlights danced across the surface of the water. They gave a lake bottom in the sun- like appearance to the usually dry road. I rolled my husband’s car right up to the edge of the water. I stopped.
My brain battled itself: The adventurous part of me was pretty convincing: ” You can make it. It’s not that deep. It’s not very far- just a few hundred yards! Rev it up and plow right through! If you’re lucky you’ll hydroplane right over the water.” it called out to me. The reasonable part of me recanted: “Or, you’ll end up stranded, knee deep in water calling your husband to ask if you have flood insurance on HIS CAR.”
Headlights from the cars piling up behind me started to flash in my rear-view mirror. The drivers were annoyed with my hesitation. I felt a blush flare up on my face even in the dark. I could almost hear the other drivers critiqueing my driving. For an instant, I thought about gunning it, just to show them. (Them being: the people behind me who couldn’t see the flood who were thinking I was stopped in the middle of the road for no apparent reason.) Then, I thought about whether our insurance would cover this. I doubted it.
Reason won over bravado and I forced myself to turn on the hazard lights and put the car in reverse. I edged it around. “It’s too deep. I’m a wimp” I said. I shook my head and waved sheepishly as I drove past the annoyed drivers. “I wouldn’t try it- too deep” I said again. Trying to convince them (and myself) that I wasn’t actually a wimp.
I drove into the sub across the road from mine- trying to wind my way around the flooding and to my own cul-de-sac. Between the dark and the infrequency of my visits to that sub, (not to mention my total lack of sense of direction) 10 minutes and several wrong turns later, I ended up right back where I had been before. At the edge of the flood.
This time- My headlights caught more than shimmering water in their glare. I saw two cars in the middle of the road turned lake. One car had it’s driver’s door open, the driver was standing on the floor boards-his head above the car roof, a cell phone’s glow lighting his face as he called for help. The second car had it’s hazard lights flashing, I could hear the growling whine of repeated attempts to start wet batteries. It wasn’t working. “HA!” I told you it was too deep!” I said to the dark.
I turned my car around again. I almost giggled as I called my husband to tell him I hadn’t sunk his car into a suburban abyss. I felt smug over my brilliance at NOT attempting to drive through the lake. Those other drivers were obviously careless. (I may have used the word “idiots” to describe them. ) I, however, was brilliant.
I had to drive way out of my way, to avoid the flood. (Again) It gave me time to think. (I can do that when there aren’t kids in the car NOT TOUCHING each other.) I thought about decisions I’ve made. Decisions that turned out well and not so well. I thought about the things I’ve learned, (mostly the hard way) and I wondered if maybe I’m making progress. I thought about how smug I had felt about those “other” drivers stranding themsleves in the middle of the flood. “Idiots.” I thought to myself.
Right about that time- I realized, I had made a wrong turn, again. I was right back at the edge of the water. The stranded cars had made their way out of the flow. The road was now clear of traffic, but not of water. It was still a stream of storm water.
For the slightest moment, I held the thought: ” I could make it, if I really, tried. “
Dear Lord- help me to know when to move forward and when to turn around. God grant me courage to move in your direction and wisdom to know when to stand still. Lord-basically- please help me to not be an idiot. Cause the temptation is always RIGHT there… even when I see the evidence of my own and others’ mistakes… I love you, Lord! amen.