Thursday, February 23, 2006

Have you ever saved somebody’s life? Have you ever had your life saved by someone else? I have experienced both. The former is by far better than the latter. I will not tell you about two of the former because that would be bragging. Both times it was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. But I can think of three times in my life when, had I not been where I was or had I not done what I did, somebody would have died. Forget the first two. But the third one you just have to hear.

It was Tuesday of this week and I was driving to St Johns Mercy Hospital in West St. Louis County. The weather was nice, the stereo was turned up, and I was ahead of schedule. (That alone qualifies this as a miracle.) I exited from southbound I-270 onto the Ladue Road exit. I was planning on turning left on Ladue Road. This particular exit has two lanes and I was in the right one. (Meaning the one on the right … not meaning the correct one.) I was about one third of the way up the ramp when I saw a car make a right turn off of Ladue Road onto the exit ramp I was on. (Teachable moment #1. Exit ramps should never be used as entrance ramps. It defies the very nature of safe driving. Make a note of it.) At first I thought, “no way.” Like I am not seeing what I think I am seeing. Then he got close enough for me to realize that he was in a Mini-Cooper. (Teachable moment #2. If you are going to be so foolish as to go the wrong way on an expressway you might want to drive something more substantial than a Mini-Cooper.) I hit the button to lower my window. I began braking and waving both of my arms out the window at the oncoming car. I flashed my headlights. I waved again. The Mini-Cooper began slowing about thirty feet in front of me. The driver was looking at me like I was insane and he was afraid. You know the look. I began coasting up to him and he lowered his window half way. I took this opportunity to inform him that he was driving on the expressway EXIT ramp. He did not say anything. He raised his window, drove past me, executed a u-turn, passed me, turned right on Ladue Road, and drove on out of sight. No “Hey, Thanks!” No, “Whoa! That was close! I’m so sorry!” Nothing. As he drove away he was still looking at me like I was the one who was crazy.

My state trooper friend tells me that a driver going the wrong way on an expressway is the worst possible traffic scenario. He says that it always ends up with fatalities. So I figure that I have it from an expert that I saved this guys life and probably the lives of countless people on I-270. He could have hit a school bus. Or a family van. Or your car. Seriously.

The point is not that he didn’t pause to thank me. (Though that would have been nice.) The point is that it is NEVER right to go the wrong way. Never. Somebody always gets hurt. Don’t believe me? I can prove it. Proverbs 14: 12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” You can’t get much clearer than that. Which way are you heading today? Are you going in your own direction or are you following the directions found in God’s Word? Might I suggest that you see what God has to say about your method of reaching your destination? It might change your entire life. Or even your entire eternity.

Consider yourself flagged down.