Split-second life lessons

by +CrystalThieringer    @cdthieringer

My month-old license was thoroughly road-tested. I rented a car, and drove back and forth between cities six times in thirteen days. Each round trip was 365 km–bumped up to 450 km when I picked up my dad en route. Every one of them was worth the effort.

Tiring? Absolutely. Even so, the time in the car was important. It allowed my introspective self uninterrupted time to replay conversations with my brother. To feel all the feels, even when I didn’t want to.

The number of days has never been up to your or your medical team. It’s still up to God. And the number doesn’t matter. What matters is how you live them. How you fill them. If you waste them. 

My nieces and I had hard conversations too. Old and tired topics, corrected information. They aren’t kids anymore.

People make mistakes. I have. Parents do. You will too. When you do? Own the consequences. It’s what we do next that matters most.

One morning, a bone-weary, emotional morning, I drove the country road alone. Dawn glazed the field in gold-leaf, and patches of left-over snow glinted in its beams. From the field’s borders, movement caught my attention, and a coyote took off in a full-out run.

He was beautiful.

When I realized he was going to race across the traffic, my pulse began to match his pace. He was risking everything. Everything.

There were four lanes of cars going two directions and I wasn’t sure if he would make it. For an instant, I hesitated, uncertain how to handle it. My instructor’s words played in my ears.

Check your mirrors. Check your blind spots.  Slow down.

His timing was perfect, in spite of an ever-so-slight recalibration of his stride in the ditch between opposing traffic. Then he darted across again, and continued his long strides in the other field.

He stopped and looked back then. I felt like he was looking right at me, like the sun was highlighting him just for me.

Slow down. Check your blind spots. It’s what we do next that matters most. Own the consequences. People make mistakes. What matters are the moments. It’s still up to God.

Is this what happens when people hear God speaking to them? I don’t know. I only know that my life has been touched by specific defining moments. This was one of those. I hadn’t stopped the car. I hadn’t needed to. I continued to the hospital while the coyote went the other way.





16 thoughts on “Split-second life lessons

  1. “One morning, a bone-weary, emotional morning, I drove the country road alone. Dawn glazed the field in gold-leaf, and patches of left-over snow glinted in its beams.”

    Your words drop me into the scenery. I am feeling the emotions of hard conversations, and family drama. Sending you big hugs.

    1. Thanks, Denise. Yes, it’s been a difficult month in many respects. But this was a beautiful moment.

  2. Wow, thank you for sharing that moment. I believe that, yes, this is what it is like when people hear God speak to them. Beautifully written. Thank you.

    1. Timing is everything, CF–I’m sorry it’s hard. Let me know if you want to chat.

  3. Great post and a lovely moment to share. Sorry this has been a hard month for you. Hopefully, it be better soon.

    1. My license couldn’t have come at a better time. Things are things–we get through them the best we can. But then, that’s life for all of us, right?

  4. Wonderful share, Crystal. I always enjoy following your real life situations that always seem to contain a lesson or message. I hope things are okay. Hugs, my virtual friend.

    1. Thanks Via. We have some difficult things happening, but no real answers yet, and consequently, no direction. Hugs are always welcome!

  5. Oh, I am sorry it has taken me some time to get to this post. What a beauty – and full of truth and lessons I needed to read today. I am praying for you and your family. One day at a time, checking the mirrors and blind spots as best we can, making course corrections as needed, owning up to our mistakes.

    1. Real life is tough some days, isn’t it? We’ll get through it–thanks to friends (like you). Thanks for stopping by.

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