Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Take A Blind Lady and A15-Year-Old Driver and What Do You Get?

My last and final foray into driving motorized vehicles was 18 years ago. Armed with good intentions, chocolate chip cookies and my "blind" faith, I drove for the last time.
This past week, my husband was out of town. He left two days earlier than I planned and forgot to pick up my prescriptions before he went to Las Vegas for the week. Wednesday morning I had a doctor's appointment and one of the prescriptions had to be taken the night before and the morning of my appointment.
What's a blind lady to do?
Fear not. I knew better than to drive myself. After calling and texting a half dozen people, I was desperate to get to the pharmacy. My teenage boys, one 15 and one 16, don't have driver's licenses. My husband has been teaching them to drive and letting them drive between the house and church, a distance of about three blocks.
My oldest was at work, but my 15-yr.-old came home from school, and I needed help. I only had two hours to make a trip that takes about three hours on the bus and about 30 minutes in a car. Hence an idea was hatched.
Using only residential roads, and going no more than 25 miles per hour my teenage son could make the 5 mile drive.
After going over the rules, the important parts of the car and the things he needed to watch for, we prayed and took off.
He was great! Careful, aware, talked to me and told me evrything he could see all around him. I paid attention to his speed, the turn of the car and the passing traffic, things I could feel and hear. We made it to the pharmacy and home again with both our car, our lives and our relationship in tact.
Before we left I had only two stipulations.
1- He couldn't drive on Sunset Boulevard. A busy 4 lane road.
2- He couldn't drive on Snow Canyon Parkway, another 4 lane-too busy-road.
Somehow, during our casual, tension free foray into the next town, my instructions to park at Linn's Grocery store was translated to "Park at Albertson's"
These two buildings are across Sunset Blvd. from each other.Suddenly my instructions to not drive on that road were tossed out because  he HAD to cross Sunset Boulevard. The miraculous part is...he did it, without any problems. He did it so well, in fact I only found out we'd gone on Sunset after he'd parked.
With the pharmacy taken care of, I told him we'd get some dinner while we waited for a refill. This time when I said "We'll go to Albertson's, its just a block away and on the same side of the road." He translated it to."The grocery store on the other side of the road."
Before I knew it, he's pulling out into four lanes of on-coming traffic on the very road I told him not to drive on. A few honks and unhappy driver's later we blocked traffic, butted our way into the opposite lane and we parked on the other side of the road.
Shaken, a little unsettled and knowing we could have been killed, I made him walk back to the pharmacy for the final prescription before we returned home. At this point I understood that we were at Albertson's in the first place, not Linn's and when I said go to Albertsons he thought I was sending him across the busy road. Once we cleared up our miscommunication, I told him to take the side roads back home and STAY OFF SUNSET BLVD.
He promised and once again, we were headed for disaster.
Instead of taking the route I told him, he said he knew a road that would join up with the residential neighborhoods. A few minutes and 45 miles per hour later, we are zooming down the other, busy, four lane road, I specifically told him not to take. After he cut off another driver and the unhappy motorist tailgated, swore at us and flipped us off. I realized we were on the wrong road again.
To no one's surprise, my husband wasn't happy with me, my ability to make good decisions or my willingness to involve our children in my insane antics.
All of this trouble boils down to one thing...I think of myself as 'normal' while knowing I'm not. I've never pretended to be sighted, just capable. Knowing and having limitations are entirely different things.
There is a scripture in Corithians which says-"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."
I firmly, and without question believe that. Driving with my teenage son and completely blind doesn't sound like moving mountains to me. It sounds reasonable. A little out-of-the-ordinary, but reasonable.
My husband calls it insanity. I just call it faith.
The problem is...even things done in faith have consequences. Accidents happen. Circumstances collide with well-meaning individuals. Life happens while you're making other plans. The strength to deal with it comes from The Savior. A powerful relationship with Him doesn't protect you from life. It only makes it so you can live through it, heal, and find happiness. Easy words when my son and I returned home safely. Harder when disaster strikes. The lord knows you and loves you. Whatever you think you can't do...he knows that too. He knows what gaps, weaknesses and failings He must fill in. Always remember-
You Can Do This because He can do anything.
After all...If God is on your side, does it matter who isn't?

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