Sunday, October 9, 2011

Instant Focus

I don't know about you but I often get so caught up in the insanity of life and the long list of all that I have to do.  So focused on my to-do list that I forget what is truly important.  This past week something happened that instantly and completely changed my focus- and although it was scary- I am thankful for God's reminder.

It was Monday afternoon.  I picked up Madison from school and then we ran by Hobby Lobby to pick up something I needed for a project I was working on for a friend.  As we got in the car to go home I asked Madison if she wanted to drive. She's been rather hesitant to drive and as she said "no" I considered forcing her to- but thankfully didn't. 

We headed home on the highway.  Right before the exit we take to our house, the main road through our town merges with the highway from the right. So we were right before the merging takes places, in the right lane when a large truck pulled ahead of us in the left lane.  It was an 18 wheeler that was carrying some sort of heavy equipment {maybe a crane?} and was throwing rocks behind it! Not small pebbles, but big ROCKS! Like the size of a golf ball! 

I immediately started slowing down- saying something about how ridiculous and dangerous it was that they were throwing these huge rocks! The brand new car directly in front of me started to swerve- in order to miss some of the rocks- and started to lose control of their car.  As they started to swerve I said "OH no!" but assumed they would correct and get back in the lane.  

Instead of that happening, the driver completely lost control- careening across the merging lane, the shoulder, and driving into the large ditch next to a large concrete divider wall at about 70mph. I started yelling "OH my goodness NO!" when the car slammed into the concrete wall, bounced off of it and flipped around and came to a stop facing the wrong direction in the ditch. 

I immediately pulled over - as quickly as I could- yelled at Madison to "STAY IN THE CAR and call 911!" and started running towards the car.   As I started running towards the car- I saw that it was smoking and I noticed no one was getting out of it- which scared me.  I ran back to my car, grabbed my phone and took off running again.  

The ditch I was running through had tall dead grass that went up to about my knees.  As I ran I prayed for the people in the car- not sure what I would encounter when I arrived there.  I got to the smoking car and was shocked to see an older man and woman sitting in the front seat- alert and conscious.  

I tried to open the drivers door but it was locked.  Tried the driver side back door which was also locked.  I ran around to the other side to find the passenger side completely demolished from slamming into the wall- the window broken but both doors also unable to open.  As smoke rose from the car- I called 911- worrying that the car would catch on fire with the couple inside.  

As I was on the phone, the man in the car was also on his cell phone with 911- as was Madison who I could see sticking her head out of the car looking back at the wreck- but following my directions not to get out of the car. {The 911 operator also told her not to get out of the car!}  Thankfully it wasn't too long before a policeman showed up and together we were able to get the couple out of the car.  Many other emergency vehicles soon followed- a firetruck and ambulance included. 

Thankfully, other than being shaken up the couple was in pretty good shape- although the wife had some cuts from the glass and some bruising from the seat belt and air bag. The paramedics checked their blood pressure to make sure they were okay and asked to transport the wife to check her out at the hospital.  I filled out a witness report for the police describing what happened.  The sweet couple kept thanking me for stopping- and the gentleman hugged me before I left which I thought was so very sweet of him.  I walked back to my car and to Madison and thanked God for protecting that sweet couple.  

In the time that it took for the accident to occur, my focus went from the 100's of things I needed to accomplish that night to what really mattered- people.  It was such a huge reminder that all the junk we add to our schedule is just junk- and people are what truly matter. I know that in my heart but sometimes think I get so focused on the tasks I need to accomplish and checking them of my to-do list, that I forget to focus on the people in my lives and those strangers God places around me. 

My prayer every day since then has been for God to open my eyes to the people around me that He wants and needs me to see.  So thankful for His reminder. He is so good!!