Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The Eel Doesn't Get Her. I'm Explaining it to You Because You Look Nervous...
Question: Which would be more cruel? A man starving to death, with no access to food or hope of any showing up any time soon, or a man starving to death with access to a spread of nice food - food that he has every right to be eating, but is nevertheless prevented from eating by the chef?
Gee, a thinly-veiled analogy! Bitter much, Dave, hmm?
I have a killer headache right now. The usual prescription is an ibuprofen, ear plugs, a light blanket, and my recliner, for about 90 minutes. That's where I'm heading after I finish this (likely-brief) post. I'd turn in for the evening (even though it is early), but I have to go get Eldest Daughter from work when she calls at 1 am tonight. Unlike Paula's daughter, mine has absolutely no interest in getting her drivers license, even though she is 19 years old. Hey, I'm not complaining - it can only be a plus to keep her from having to deal with the crazy drivers out here for as long as possible. Toting her around is a small price to pay, I think.
I waited until 18 to get my license. Had 2 single-car accidents in that first year, both on windy mountain roads. No biggie, either one, thankfully... but only because there was no oncoming traffic in either case.
I did have one occasion that I can't explain in any way other than Divine Intervention. I was 19, and drove up to LA in my very first car to go with a couple friends to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Left really early, drove up, spent the day in the heat with the crowds, had a mediocre time, and drove back late. As I was nearing home (after about 3 hours driving, it was well after midnight) I was heading up the windy I78 stretch going up to Ramona, and I began to nod off. I mean, the caffeine wore off and someone pulled the plug. I didn't want to pull over to the side of the road on the mountain, since I didn't think it would be safe, but I knew I could not drive much longer...
I cranked the music, opened the windows, sang as loud as I could, shook my head, anything I could do to stay awake for the remaining 15 or 20 minutes it was going to take to get home. By this time, I was hallucinating, seeing vehicles that were not there, my head was spinning. I got almost all the way up the hill, and I know - I KNOW - I fell asleep. I could take you to the very spot where I realized it was too late, I was gone. It lasted a split second. My head dropped to my chest (as I was driving), then snapped back up. It was as if someone had slapped me. I went from sleep to crisply wide awake in an instant. I mean, I was wide awake, all exhaustion fled in an instant, all while I was driving. I easily made the rest of the drive, in stunned silence, trying to figure out what had happened. It was as if I had slept soundly for a split second.
I can take you right to the spot, and show you the tree I should have hit in the curve right ahead. You know how sometimes you think, "Man, if I could just go back in time to a certain point and do things differently, I would." Maybe God does that sometimes. Maybe events happen, tragedies occur, ramifications spread out farther than He thought, and He just pauses time, hits the rewind button, goes back to a certain time, and starts it up again, changing things. Maybe this was one of those times. Perhaps He does that in our lives all the time, who knows. I'll never understand why He lets certain things happen when they cause so much pain... but perhaps He also prevents 10 times as many similar events from happening, and we'll never know it.
Anyway, I can think of no other logical explanation for that drive home. I could not stay awake, and I couldn't pull over, and I know I faded completely, I felt it happen, and I was powerless to stop it. And an instant later, like a slap, I was wide awake. It's one of the events in my life I can point to as proof that God exists - and that He was looking out for me.
In any case, that's that.
I'm going to consider this to be the end of Part One. I need to go rest a bit. I'll get back on tonight and edit some more stuff in - I have more to talk about. Until then, to be continued...