Thursday, September 17, 2009

no brakes -- freewheeling

back again

So I was driving the little S 10 pickup on a gravel road, humming along at a nice clip. Straight ahead is a field of corn. There are corn fields on either side of me. The road makes a 90 degree turn to the left. I stepped on the clutch and took it out of gear. Started stepping on the brakes so I could turn the corner. Suddenly realized there are no brakes.

I heard my voice yelping, "NO BRAKES!?! as I skimmed along . . . the corn field getting closer and closer. I thought briefly about trying to take the corner but scratched that idea. As I contemplated my options I saw a grassy field lane leading into the field. Steered the pickup down this little lane and aimed for the corner of the corn field. Noticed a stray stalk of corn off to the side of the field. The pickup squeezed between the field and the lone corn stalk like going through a doorway. I mowed over some weeds and a midget corn stalk. On the other side of the *door* was a patch of bare ground. If it had been planted at one time it was drowned out or something. Bounced along for a short time and stopped. I looked all around, put it in reverse and backed up -- being careful not to hit the stray corn stalk. Glanced both ways and out on to the road again. Drove the rest of the way to the barn very carefully and slowly.

As I was driving I remembered there is this thing called *downshifting* and I probably wouldn't have coasted along like that if I'd just put it back in the next lower gear and let the engine slow the pickup down. Or let out the clutch --

When I told this story to my family they gave me all sorts of advice on what I could have done or what I should do if this ever happens again . . . . heaven forbid! Jeremy drove the S 10 the next day and promptly came home and took it apart "before it kills someone."

I keep thinking about that feeling of *no control* as I barrelled along . . . even tho it was only 30 mph it gave me a helpless sensation. It was a little like "Wait . . . I've felt like this before." . . . . when life is out of control and things are happening to me that I can not stop or change. I look all around at all the options and call out to God in my helplessness. He has always heard and provided a way for me to go -- just like finding that grassy field lane.

Some day the WAY He provides may be a bumpy road or a rocky path or even a tumble down a steep cliff. He is with me no matter what. That is a comfort for me.

Hope I can finish that other story soon. ;]