Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Police (10/12/06)
TITLE: Once Upon A Road Trip
By Donna Powers
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I was going to meet my daughter. Six months ago, she’d said she loved us, but had to figure out who she was. She’d taken a job working as a nanny for two little girls, in a lovely home in Virginia. She’d moved before I’d been ready to admit she was old enough to make her own decisions. I’d missed her since she’d moved.
I’d finally managed to get some time off. We planned to spend a three-day weekend in North Carolina. That night we were going to have dinner and catch up on our lives. I was hurrying to get to her house because I’d lost about an hour stuck in Beltway traffic that had seemed as thick as concrete. I’d fumed and fretted at the delay. Now I was just 15 minutes from her new home. I didn’t want anything to do with policemen so I searched intently for their hiding places. I thanked God that I didn’t find them.
Finally, I pulled into the driveway and my daughter ran into the car. We hugged hello; our adventure had begun!
She drove toward our next stop, which was about two hours away. We were soon laughing and talking as if the six months’ absence had never happened. We laughed at jokes that only made sense to each other. We shared those jokes through dinner and over the miles of highway as we drove south.
We lost track of time until our talk was interrupted by an alarm from the dashboard. When we looked up, we realized that the gas tank was empty! Frantically, we looked at the road signs; we were 10 miles from the nearest exit. We tried but couldn’t make it to that stop. Soon, the car coasted to a stop.
My Triple A card was expired and we were more than 200 miles from anyone we could call for help. It was late and we were in the middle of nowhere. So we did the only thing we could think to do: we called the police.
Just six hours ago, I’d been avoiding the police, but now they were our only hope. We waited for a frustrating hour in a dark car at the side of the busy highway. Finally a polite young state trooper shone his light into our window. His accent was a reminder that I was definitely Down South: “why didn’t you stop for gas at the last town, ma’am?” We admitted that we’d lost track of time, because we’d been talking so much. The trooper shook his head in bafflement at the scatterbrained females in the car – but he called for a tow truck.
For another quiet hour of darkness, I waited with my daughter for that tow truck. I remembered my frustration with the time I’d wasted on the Beltway earlier and smiled to myself at how different this time was. In back of us sat the patient, polite trooper. His lights stayed bright in our rear window. No matter how foolish he thought we were, he wouldn’t leave us alone on the highway again. He stayed until the tow truck got there and then sent us off with a friendly reminder to please check our gas tank more often.
We didn’t really need him to do anything for us, but I’m glad that policeman stayed there. It was a comfort during the darkness and the waiting.
In my life, there have been many times when I’ve wanted to avoid the tough standards that God gave us to live by. I admit that I’ve been tempted to cut a few corners and that sometimes I’ve sped through my life. I’ve been in the driver’s seat and I’ve been impatient to get to where I was going. In the times that I really needed to know He was with me, He’s stayed right near me and comforted me. Just like that policeman, He always shines His light into my darkness and lets me know He is there.
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