You’re in the back seat, arguing with your sibling over who’s turn it is to play with the cheap kid’s meal toy. Suddenly, your body jerks forward as your loving parent slams on the brakes. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
It’s one of those parent discipline techniques I’ve kept for my repertoire. Only, today, it didn’t work so well.
I was running late to double little league games and my children were arguing: “Let me see it!”
“Let me see it!”
“It’s mine!” This continued for at least a minute before I found a grassy shoulder, checked for any traffic behind me and then did the brake slam.
The car didn’t stop. It slowed and eventually stopped in the grass. It felt like it does when you hit a patch of snow or ice and you eventually slow when the tire meets pavement. Except it’s June.
The kids didn’t even stop their arguing. I wondered if it was a one-time thing. Finally I asked who the toy belonged to and pronounced judgment that she could do what she wanted with it. I slowly pulled back out onto the road, testing the brakes every 200 yards or so. After the third time, I decided that games or no games, I was not driving my children anywhere else in that vehicle.
Except I had to get back home. As long as I started to brake a half block before the stop signs, I did fine. It was a nerve-wracking mile.
As I drove at a snail’s pace, I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if I slammed on my brakes as someone pulled out in front of me, or stopped short in front of me. What if it hadn’t been a patch of grass? What if my stuttered stop left me in the path of a semi truck? It’s too awful to even consider.
I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe Someone kept us from disaster today.
Although some people are ready to point a finger at God when bad things happen, I wonder how many times His hand prevents us from bad things. We never know when an unforeseen circumstance changes our planned path and we avoid something bad.
I’m reminded of the gentleman who worked at the World Trade Center in New York. On September 11, 2001, he was wearing a new pair of shoes as he walked to work. He stopped at a drug store to buy band-aids for a blister that had developed on his foot. He was therefore late to work that morning, and missed being killed in the terrorist attacks.
Today I praise God for all the times he protected me from bad stuff and pray His continued protection and providence for those I love.