Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Drive You Over The Edge

I was talking to my neighbor this week about substituting for him on his job. He is a bus driver.
Okay, so a bad career choice for both he and I, perhaps?
The worst part of it is...I'm just stubborn enough to do it if I am challenged. Some of you have read the story of the last time I drove my husband's car. It was the last time I ever drove. But, Maybe, you'd like to hear about the first time I drove after I'd lost a good portion of my sight. That little fact did not disuade me, because I wanted to have a serious conversation with the guy I was dating and he knew he could avoid it by not being alone with me. Hence the BIG PLAN for driving in spite of my teeny tiny issue...oh yeah, I was blind.
Technically and in my defense, I wasn't completely blind. I had lost my right eye and my acuity was reduced to 120 degrees instead of the normal 240 most people have. I was night blind because I only picked up light and movement, but I was not totally blind.
Maybe we should ask those little kids from the picture if that makes a difference. HMMM?
Anyway...There is a look out above the town where I lived. It was a half circle of lava cliffs that lined the mountain for about a thousand feet across and 500  feet down. When we were little kids we went up there to fly kites, explore, and look for fossils.
This particular night I just needed to get my 'friend in a place where he couldn't walk off, or drive off when he didn't like what I had to say.
To be honest I'm not sure how I convinced him to get in the car with me in the first place. The sun was still up when I started our little joy ride so that may have influenced his initial decision. By the time I had wound up the 70 degree slope with the switch back curves, parked near the edge of the sheer drop off, and locked him in the car, he was probably terrified. Maybe the reason we weren't able to work things out during our midnight ride had more to do with the fact that he was trapped in an aluminum can, being driven at night, on a dangerous road, by a blind person than anything else. It is a good thing for me he was my friend and still to this day loves me, otherwise he probably could have gotten me committed or arrested for reckless endangerment.
I know that according to my eyes I couldn't see. But, according to my heart and mind, I was the same as i'd always been. It was only many years later when he told me about it, I realized how dangerous it had been.
He told me that I stayed on the road pretty good, but not in my lane. Sometimes I was halfway in the middle of a road that had double yellow lines to keep people from passing. Sometimes I was so far on the shoulder of the road he thought for sure we were going over the edge. He offered to drive multiple times, but he never accused me of sheer mania and homicidal tendancies. It was by white knuckles and fervent prayers we arrived home that night.
I would like to tell you that I learned my lesson, but I didn't. I drove my husband's car down the freeway, my friends car to get pizza, and my boyfriend's car through The Virgin River Gorge at 4 a.m. because he was soooo drunk, the blind woman was the safe driver.
I have learned two important facts from driving like a crazy woman.
#1. Your body doesn't change your mind about how happy you are. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. It is your mind that will decide which you choose to experience.
#2. No matter how invincible you think you are, natural consequences  will get their due rewards. I may not have wanted to accept that I was too blind to drive, but if I'd killed my friend that night I would never have had the opportunity to learn without unbearable pain. Believing the worst case scenario won't come get you may be true, but what if you're wrong? Can you afford to take the chance?
So for my neighbor and friend-
While I believe if you challenged me to drive your bus, I would be able to do it. I don't think I should.
Often we choose what to do with our lives based on whether or not we can or can't.
The question we should be asking is; Should I?
A parable is told of a man looking to hire a truck driver. The first applicant reassures the man of his professional credentials before driving the truck in which he must demonstrate his skills. To prove his ability, he comes   as close to the edge of the road as he can.
The next applicant watched the first and drove the truck even closer in an effort to demonstrate his knowledge and skill. The third applicant watched the other two try-outs and simply shook his head. When it became his turn to demonstrate, he drove slowly, deliberately and as far from the edge as he could get. As he parked the vehicle precisely beside the protective barrier as was possible. the other two applicant's snickered and counted the too cautious man out.
When the man who owned the truck hired the third applicant, the other two were enraged.
"He could barely handle that truck," they complained. "He didn't even try to do the difficult tasks ."
The truck's owner just smiled. "My truck will be safer with a man who isn't trying to endanger it and tempt fate. He will avoid the edge of the road where a fall is a millimeter away."
I don't drive anymore because God will not protect me from my own stupidity, and I want to avoid the
Mostly I don't want to be the example of why some one else should drive over it. I can take that chance, I can hope to avoid the consequences, but honestly...If your kids were on that bus-Should I?

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