Tuesday, April 20, 2004


I was on the phone with my sis-in-law Terry last night and we spoke briefly about my growing fear of boozed up drivers trying to negotiate the same space on highways which I use in my I drive into work. For those of you who aren't paying rapt attention to my life, in other words everyone reading this, I have been driving in about 30 minutes earlier than in the past in order to have more time to squeeze in some of my new duties. This means I'm hitting the highways at 2 a.m. which, for those of you who lead sheltered lives, is also known as closing time to a surprising number of people whose existence allows them to linger at bars until the wee hours of the morning. These folks are universally referred to by the official term: drunks.

My policy of self-preservation requires that I consider everyone on the road with me at 2 a.m. to be a member in good standing of that particular club.

Oddly enough, as I was driving in this morning I remarked to myself -there's no one else to talk to at that hour- that there weren't as many cars on the highway as I had been contending with recently. I chalked it up the Spurs playing fairly early last night and figured most of the boozehounds had probably faded before the final bell.

Upon arriving safely at work, I walked into the newsroom only to be bombarded with the screeching chaos of unusually frantic scanner chatter. Police, fire and EMS workers were all talking at once about a major problem which had occurred moments earlier on one of the highways. I soon figured out that a car had rolled over, several people had stopped to help that driver when an 18 wheeler had barreled into all of them. It was horrible. Three people were dead, several others were injured. The big rig was not only on fire, but blocking the freeway creating the potential to exponentially compound the tragedy.

I then pinpointed when and where the wreck was took place. It had happened at 2:30 on I-35 about 3 miles from our home. The same freeway I had been marveling about the lack of traffic upon only minutes prior. The exact same location where I would have been had I not adopted a new routine for the first time in 19 years and begun driving in to work earlier.

I'm not saying I would have been involved in that accident, but at the very least I certainly would have been uncomfortably close to being a participant.

It does give one pause.

I'm still concerned about the increased number of drunks on the highway at 2 a.m. and I'm still considering a number of options to try to delay my morning commute, but the irony of today's situation is not lost on me.

We choose the paths we take in life, for this I am grateful. Today though I'm reminded again how blessed I am to have chosen not to travel those roads alone.

Psalm 48:14

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.