There is an old Yiddish saying, “Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” that means “man plans, and God laughs.” Like me, you have probably heard this many times over the years. Another saying that goes along with that line of thinking is the quote from “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns, “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” I was reminded of these quips several days ago when a most scary incident happened that could have ended our lives or caused serious bodily harm. Our youngest son and his lovely girlfriend, visiting us from NY, requested we all spend a day in Sedona. We asked Jeremy to drive so he and Aylin could enjoy the amazing views on Interstate 17. This afforded Jerry the opportunity to sit back and work on a computer (big surprise). Yours truly could “back seat drive” (another big surprise!) Let me assure you my back seat driving abilities vanished, and for once in my life I was speechless when we all thought we were doomed! A truly vicious driver decided he would make it difficult for us to merge onto the interstate. This meanie was clearly making a game of the situation which forced Jeremy to aggressively accelerate since we were running out of lane. Then the unthinkable occurred. The accelerator stuck, and no amount of pumping the brake or holding it down would slow that beast!!! To his credit, our son remained calm under intense pressure as we rapidly approached a large truck we all thought we’d meet up close and personal. There were no openings in the left lane and no way to pull off the road at that rate of speed without the risk of………..well, you can just imagine. There was nothing to do but trust in the Lord to save us, and that’s just what He and our guardian angels accomplished!
Why was I reminded of the sayings at the beginning of this story and why am I sharing it? The answer: We were determined to never ever buy another vehicle. We had maintained our SUV since buying it new in 2008, and it was almost everything we ever wanted in an auto. Also, my 2007 Mustang is serving us well. Like we shared on a recent blog “When is Enough Enough?”, we were convinced both of those cars were enough, and to trade in either would be a waste of God-given resources. Thus, my thoughts of “the best laid plans of mice and men” AND “man plans, and God laughs. In spite of our noble plans, we know God did not laugh. We firmly believe He never laughs at any tragedy. We know He grieves. We know He spared at least four lives, those in our car and possibly occupants of other vehicles we could have hit.
Our hearts were warmed when our son said he wouldn’t rest easy until we ditched the old SUV and found a safer vehicle. Because we had a similar incidence with the old beast several years ago that was perhaps just a fluke, Jerry and I both listened to that still small voice that prompted us to car shop. Maybe because it was Veterans’ weekend, we were able to get a good deal on a beautiful new Hyundai. We both would like to boast this will be the last car we will ever purchase, but after the experience of a few days ago, let’s just say, “the Lord willing, this will be our last auto purchase before going into the senior home, funeral home, or the heavenly home.”
Sadly, Interstate 17 all across the Phoenix area has a reputation for being one of the most seriously dangerous highways in the state and maybe even in the Nation. To all of you who have lost loved ones in an auto accident, please take comfort in knowing I prayed for you today. We know the pain and heartache just never goes away. We were all shaken by this experience and reminded again how fleeting is life and how precious are the times to spend with those we love.