In "Good Sense of Direction," you met my brother, David, an ace pilot through skies and life. Before his flying career took off, he spent a couple of years as a road jockey. That's driver of big rigs for all you pedestrian good buddies.
His expert ability in truck maneuvering was tested daily as he was dispatched with great speed back and forth across the main forty-eight. The same finely tuned motor skills and attention to detail that later served him so well at 30,000 feet really began at about six feet eighteen wheels.
What in the world would we do without truckers? If they stopped rolling we could all come to a screeching halt, our own brakes burning rubber.
Some companies, at least back then, propelled by greed or need, demanded short turn around times. That means: get it there, drop it, get back, do it again. Often, these unrealistic deadline pressures exerted on some drivers ,will backfire in accidents or addictions to anti-slumber substances. Even though he or she is responsible to eat, sleep, bathe and keep a current log, in REAL life, in order to get the job done, there is a modicum of disregard for posted speed limits.
Okay, okay, in case that is not sufficiently vague, for goodness sake, a law is broken. Like the wind, that streak of mammoth vehicle is moving on down that ribbon of road.
In Brother's defense, his mini-drama played out in an area of the country with more pavement than traffic. Let's face it. Many of us with a nearly empty straight road, good weather and visibility, might be weak in the face of a pedal-to-the-metal temptation. He was anxious to complete this run and to get back to racking up an hour here and there to enter in his other logbook, the one required by the FFA. The boy was definitely hauling.
In a lickety split second, an easily recognized national request to "pull over" appeared. That dreaded rotating blue light has great power. He knew his fuzz was busted for sure!
A spiffy uniformed highway patrol giant of a fellow sauntered up to the window of the truck cab. Taking a firm non-negotiable stance, the officer snarled in his best no nonsense, facetious voice, "Hey cowboy, you were flying pretty low there. I'd say you'd better have a pilot's license!"
Ever cool, yet respectful, David quietly reached for his wallet on the seat, pulled out the official documentation, and with more class than most of us would exhibit, waited patiently while the scowling Smokey examined the surprising evidence. In retrospect, Dave reported, this was a risky move, but with his inherited sense of humor and an eye for a good story, one he simply could not resist. It was a perfect moment.
The super-sized trooper, barely hanging on to his composure, could not seem to process what he was reading. His attempted traffic quarry nab was not proceeding according to usual routine. His effort to hold on to a little sternness finally failed. Suddenly, an explosive sound came roaring out of his mouth. He simply could not contain the side splitting helpless laughter.
David, wary of the eventual outcome, sat very still and smiled wanly. He waited for the verdict.
"Well son," drawled the tickled fellow with the shiny boots and sidearm, "You really got me. I asked for your pilot's license and you, in fact, gave it to me. Consider that your get out of jail free card. You guys running on this road know the rules. Just slow it down and be safe."
With that, shaking his head and chuckling, he tipped his hat and did a smart about face in the direction of his cruiser. Incredulous, my brother finally exhaled, shifted gears, and slowly merged with the flow. That encounter of the close kind prompted some analogous thought.
Knowing we cannot keep the Scriptural law, the Judge in the highest court offers a way out when we break the rules. It is called FORGIVENESS. A loving hand guides us back on the road to our final destination. We may get pulled over for direction, not necessarily punishment. Thank the Lord for second chances and for not always getting what we deserve or deserving what we get. The best we can do is just keep on trucking.
Let's be careful out there. Happy trails.