Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil… Twenty Third Psalm.
On the morning of 7 July 2015 I had a story to tell; the time to do so arrived that evening in the company of friends. Each of us took turns sharing a few words about gratitude. When my time came I spoke of a change in heart as to what gratitude was coming to mean for me. I explained that my life was evolving from a daily habit of voicing gratitude for the events in my life to an unexplainable transformation of a reduced awareness of fear and to a feeling of being completely protected.
I began with a story of an automobile accident on 15 November 2013, which left me apparently helpless but unexplainably fearless for a few hours as I dealt with this new event in my life.
I went on to describe how each day since has been altered somehow, in a way that appears on the surface to be a gradual removal of fear but which I believe is actually a growing awareness and subsequent acceptance of God’s Love. Though I am becoming less cognizant of fear I continue to regard fear as a gift and know it is there if I need it.
. Here is that story.
Six weeks prior to this morning’s adventure I sold my badl broken truck and bought a bicycle with part of the resulting proceeds. I am having difficulties riding that bike as my body has never fully recovered from a traffic accident of 11/15/2013
Each morning at first light I ride this new road bike a bit further than the day before, adding another chore, another activity, another mile, hoping to rebuild my strength. On this particular morning I bought my newspaper and stopped at a coffee shop to peruse the heralded events of the previous day. Afterwards, I began the next leg of my journey to the dry-cleaner. Though I have started a new habit of washing and ironing my own dress shirts I still had a few dry-cleanable items; I had several pairs of slacks rolled up in my laptop bag.
As I approached the intersection at 38th street and Indian School Road, the light turned red and I stopped. When it turned green again I pushed on my pedals and started across. Upon reaching the halfway mark the light turned red again and the first three lanes of traffic waited for me to pass; all that is except for one vehicle in the southernmost lane.
As I continued south the auto that now had my full attention moved forward as though life depended on every second. It was clear to me that if one of us did not change our path or our speed I would be directly in front of a fast-moving vehicle a blink away from an undesirable experience. From where I was when I came into possession of this important realization to the probable point of impact was obviously less than a second. Here is a description of dawning awareness as time seemed to slow.
I had already prepared myself for impact. I had tried to calculate the probabilities that the driver would see me and I knew instantly that this was a waste of time.
However, having been hit broadside while riding another bike by a vehicle twenty years earlier, I also knew that at the observed speed and my being dead center in front of this four wheeled guided missle I could probably count on being impacted with enough force to throw me and my bright red/orange Motobecane at least twenty feet, far enough to put me out if harm’s way and at worst break a leg.
The other alternative was to slam on my brakes which with my diminished sense of balance would surely throw me to the ground and the unstoppable, out of control, vehicular menace would crush me and my two-wheeled gift from God beneath the wheels its wheels and I would discover as my head popped like a crushed melon whether my thoughts would continue as I left my body.
There was only one sensible alternative…
As I continued my crossing with no change whatever, neither slowing nor increasing speed, the dragster before me responded to the sudden new awareness of its driver and came to a noisy stop. As I continued my crossing unharmed I noted that at the point where I had predicted the slam of a mighty force, the potential impediment to progress caressed the flapping cuff of my Levis and I continued to the completion of my short journey. I was not surprised nor was I grateful; I was worried about the driver whom I guessed might be in shock..
I stopped and turned to look. The driver had her head bowed over the steering wheel as though in prayer. She suddenly looked toward me and nodded. I returned the heads-up salute and watched her drive away.
As I recounted the event with friends later in the day I could recall no experience of fear; only Love..