There’s something about being rescued this is so completely satisfying. A number of years ago (pre-cell phone days) I was driving along the freeway, hit an icy patch of black ice and found myself careening down a steep embankment and crashing into a retaining fence separating the embankment from an even deeper gully beyond the road. My little Chevrolet Chevette, born in a day long before four wheel or even front wheel drive was popular, was going nowhere. Although pinned against a fence, I was thankful for that despite the obvious inconvenience and embarrassment the whole thing was causing me. Looking through the wire mesh, I knew my fate could have been far worse. Nonetheless, a sense of fear now began to creep over me. I was so far off the road, if no one had reported my crash, a passing county sheriff might not even notice me. There I sat. Each second seemed like a minute and each minute like an hour. I was going nowhere and climbing the steep embankment was out of the question as I was dressed in a suit and dress shoes. No, I was stuck there and at the mercy of a hopefully sharp-eyed law enforcement officer.
Waiting for rescue was both intimidating and humbling at the same time. Although black ice is not easy to avoid, I knew I had been driving too fast for conditions. My error had cost me valuable time and would probably cost me some money if a tow truck ever did get to me. I had messed up and had a good deal of time sitting there awkwardly at the bottom of the hill to reflect on that. I was at the mercy of my mistake and that was a humbling experience. It was not a new feeling, however. I had been there many times before. You know the feeling well. It’s that deep sense of helplessness that leads to contrition. You are not in control mode, that level of operational comfort that guides you through the day. Rather, you have absolutely no control over much of anything. It’s a mixture of regret, fear, and impatience; not a really good mix for anyone to have boiling over inside of them.
Suddenly, from out of nowhere my father’s hands reached down and gently began to undo a little boy’s knots. I was saved. Such was the feeling I had when a county sheriff, spotting my skid marks on the shoulder, shouted down the hill: “Don’t worry. Sit tight. I’ll call a tow and we’ll get you out of there in no time.” My “knots” would not be my downfall after all.
We often find ourselves in these types of predicaments in life. We’re scooting along, relatively oblivious to God’s grace and then WHAM! Down the embankment we go. It happens so fast. One minute we are in control ...
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