As I rounded the bend on this familiar stretch of road, I saw it. There was an oncoming car in my lane.
A quick assessment concluded the driver would not get back in line before we met.
To the left was a hill spotted with trees, where I had snowmobiled with my cousins. I was flying in a sled behind their Ski-Doo in the seventh grade. My hip caught a rock and hurt for weeks.
To the right was a steep ditch, that led down to the Sauk River. There, with my mother, we’d search for blue herons in the tops of the trees. We were thrilled when we caught a glimpse.
It was coming now, this car in my lane. There was no place to go.
Are You Ready
A profound Presence of Peace descended upon me as I glanced down to the river.
What else did I do? I asked myself a question.
Are you ready to die?
Despite the situation, that Presence of Peace surrounded me and nothing more. Can you imagine feeling only peace in spite of dire circumstances? The answer was no to both.
There was an enormous amount of time in all of this. We approached one another at a combined speed of 110 mph.
The car, the question, the answer, the peace, the vast space of time and then, a miracle to me, the driver parallel to the one in my lane pulled over to drive on the shoulder.
Yes, I could do the same. At twenty, I lacked experience of what to do to avoid a head on collision, but I could follow this example. It required that all did their parts.
I, too, pulled over to drive on the shoulder still going I don’t know how fast.
Then we passed, the three of us together, as if three belonged on a two lane highway, the most natural thing in the world.
And a multitude of us lived another day. I wonder what they experienced in their cars. Did they feel the same profound Presence of Peace?
On the way home I cried.
When Time Stands Still
For One who’s time is eternity, time stands still for as long as necessary. God has not left me to myself (or you to yourself.)
The One we seek is here. When time stands still, be ready.
Have you experienced time standing still? Have you felt the Presence of Peace in spite of your circumstance?
image credit: Three Cherubs at the Vatican Museum ©2006 Marie LaForce