“If you drive like I do, you might want to bone up on your wisdom literature.”
The Bible is tried and true. That’s a plain fact. Let me tell you how I know. I have tried it and it’s been true to me.
One summer day I was taking the family to Newark. We would travel State Route 661 south from the little village of Brandon where our church was, through Homer and through Granville and along Cherry Valley Road. It is a beautiful drive, especially the six or eight miles north of Granville. I was looking forward to it. That might have been one of the reasons I wasn’t as attentive as I should have been.
North of the parsonage was a hill. It was easy to pull out in front of people, especially if they were driving fast. They could be over that blind hill and close on you fast.
Once the family was all safely in the car I pulled out onto the road. It was a beautiful, sunny day. I was in no hurry. Suddenly was shocked to hear a loud horn sound behind me. I looked in the rear-view mirror and all I could see was the grill of an orange ¾ ton Ford pick-up truck.
The driver was furious. He laid on his horn for a quarter of a mile. He couldn’t pass because of on-coming traffic. He tail-gaited me so close I could see the angry expression on his face. When we reached the village I decided to turn right so that he could go on, but because I was nervous about upsetting the guy I forgot to use my turn signal.
Just as I initiated the turn he started to swing around me on the right. He had to brake hard to avoid rear-ending me. I pulled off and he roared around me, slammed on his breaks, slid sideways in the road, and in an instant he had thrown open his truck door and jumped out to have at least, a spirited conversation with me.
He left his big orange truck in the middle of the road with the door open and strode back like a bull at the rodeo saying words real loud that I didn’t want my family to hear, and I don’t intend to write down here.
Suddenly a passage from the Bible sprang to my mind; “A soft answer turns away wrath.” I didn’t know if it would work but I needed to try something quickly because we were within sight of the church I pastored and the headlines in the paper after this crazed countryboy beat me were going to be as embarrassing to me as the beating I was about to receive was going to be painful.
A calmly and as softly as I could and still be heard I rolled down my window and said; “Man, I’m sorry. I pulled right out in front of you and then I cut you off. I didn’t mean to. I really am sorry.”
He stopped dead in the street like I hit him with a taser and just looked at me for a few seconds. I think he was trying to deceide if he was going to kill me with his bare hands or walk away. Then he said, “Well, watch what yer doin’. You coulda’ killed us.”
“I’m really sorry,” I said sincerely.
He got back in his big orange truck with the gun rack in back window and confederate flag decal and roared off. I proceeded humbly to town with the family grateful to have all my teeth—my confidence in the wisdom of scripture confirmed.
If you drive like I do, you might want to bone up on your wisdom literature. It comes in handy. It might even save your life some day.
April 29, 2010