I now come to a driving lesson that too few people think about… blind spots. They’re all around us, we just don’t see them (that’s why they’re called blind spots).
Before I continue on down this road I’m going to detour you into some personal news. I’m published, again! It’s in the Dallas Christian Family Magazine. You can read the July article by going to dfwchristianfamily.com and going to the Men’s section, look for the one titled ‘Comfort With Comfort’. This is a free magazine in the Dallas area, July 2011 is the first month that all of the issues were taken. You can read my first article by going to http://www.dfwchristianfamily.com/family/inviteGodIn_may-11.php
I’ve decided to take a slightly different approach on this post. Instead of giving you my opinion I’m going to give you a sample of my fiction writing. This will be from the very first book I started to write, it most likely won’t be the first one published since I’m still working on it. Some back-story is necessary to get you up to speed. Uncle Ray has guardianship of his nephew, Billy, during the summer while Billy’s Mom finishes her college degree. The two of them are on a road trip to a surprise destination. Uncle Ray is pretty good at giving Bible related lessons from everyday events.
As the two of them approach a city along the Interstate the traffic gets thicker. A semi comes alongside their car and has to slow down because of the other vehicles on the interstate. Ray reduces his speed to avoid being next to the big rig.
“Something for you to keep in mind when you’re driving around these big guy’s. It’s bad luck to stay beside them for very long.” Ray informs.
“I didn’t think Christians were supposed to believe in luck, Uncle Ray.” Billy suggests.
“We don’t. It’s just my way of getting you to remember that those things don’t have a lot of wobble room. It doesn’t take much for them to lose control and end up where we were. That, and they might not even be able to see us there. The bigger the vehicle the bigger the blind spots they have to deal with. Trust me, I know this from first hand experience.”
“How many times did you hit somebody that way?”
“Never, but I did have to abort a few lane changes once I got close enough to the car next to me that I could finally see them in my mirror.”
“So, what’s the Jesus lesson in that?” Billy wonders.
“I don’t think there is one this time. I’m just trying to give you a pointer to, hopefully, keep you alive. Not everything has a spiritual parallel to it. But, I’ll let you know if one shows up.” Ray speeds back up once they clear the busy off-ramp and traffic moves along.
As they get closer to Detroit the road widens and the traffic conditions change, along with Ray’s demeanor. A pick up passes, then slows down in front of them.
“All right, Chevy. Make up your mind. Are you in a hurry, or not?”
Ray moves over to the center lane to get by them when a Mustang approaches in the left lane, narrowly missing Ray’s front corner as he passes. “Hey, Bozo! We’re all going to get where we’re going late if you cut it any closer.”
“How do you know he’s late, Uncle Ray?”
“You really need to learn to see what’s going on around you, Young Bill. Look at his license plate.”
“NOBL8… how does that tell you that he’s late?”
“‘No be late’, not a smart choice for a vanity plate. If I’m a cop and I have a choice on which speeder to pull over. I think I’d choose that one.” Ray steps hard on his brakes to avoid the pile-up of cars in front of him. “There, now none of us is going anywhere. Wasn’t worth being in such a hurry,now. Was it? Probably your brother in a wreck up ahead.”
“How did you ever make it as a trucker, Uncle Ray? I’ve never seen you like this.”
“Your Aunt Char used to ask me the same thing.” Ray ran his fingers over his hair, let out a deep breath, then said. “I guess I just went on auto-pilot just now… and I just got your blind spot lesson.”
“I’ve heard it said that you need to choose your friends wisely. Part of the reason for that is because we can’t see what we’re looking like to others from inside our own skin. A wise friend will let you know when you’re making a fool of yourself. That’s especially true of a good spouse. Your wife should become the person who gets to know you better than anybody else. If you choose well, she’ll let you know these things without nagging them to you. I’ll try to relax now. It’s not like we’re running late for anything. Besides, we’re almost there.”
“You mean… are we…?!” Billy’s eyes widened as he turned in his seat to face his uncle.
Ray holds his palm out. “You’ll find out soon enough. Just hold your horses, Young Bill.” Then he points at the traffic sign in front of them.
Those are a couple of the scenes that have been bouncing around in my head for a couple of years now. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to finally get them typed out. I can’t wait to get the whole series in print. Uncle Ray is my favorite character so far. Probably because we have so much in common. Hey, they say to write what you know.
I hope you caught the lesson on blind spots. The bigger the vehicle… the bigger the blind spots. Please keep that in mind when you’re driving, and in life. The bigger the ego… the bigger the blind spots, I guess. But, of course, you already figured that out.
I’ll see you later. Wade