We have a choice.
I could see the angelic, pale face looking down upon me. She looked sad and I could see fear in her eyes. I should have taken it as a warning… All of a sudden, I got hit from behind and it jolted me so hard I thought I was broken in half. Then someone hit me from the right side and I could see stars. Thoughts raced through my head… would I survive? My life passed before my eyes. The next shot I saw coming and I tried to avoid it but to no avail. My whole body shook. I no longer had control. I could not turn, I could not back up, I could not go forward. I could not steer my way out of this so, I raised my hands, pulled the red flag and surrendered.
Lori and I had gone home to Thorp for the 4th of July and went to the Demolition Derby. We walked into the pits to see my brother who had prepared a couple of cars for the Derby. He saw me coming and came up and asked if I would like to drive one of the cars. The driver he had was not able to, so he was desperate. I had helped friends and neighbors prepare cars and had raced a few times, but it had been a few years since I had done it. I said I would and really forgot that Lori was with me, I was so excited. Lori went up into the stands and I got the car ready and would be in the third heat.
I was a bundle of nerves, anxious and excited and the adrenaline was high. I was pumped! The heat came and I entered the ring, took my position, and waited for the start flag to wave. I was going to impress Lori with my driving and ramming. It would be awesome! I looked up into the stands and there was Lori, white as a ghost. I had not asked her what she thought about all of this and I could see the fear and worry for me. I waved but she was frozen in her seat. The flag waved, I looked at her and backed up to ram another car when I got hit. I tried moving but kept getting hit. I finally broke free and got a couple of hits in and then got hit again, so hard that the steering wheel came off in my hands. Knowing I was a sitting duck, I pulled my flag and was out of the race. It was fun but short-lived. Exhilarating but sobering. I haven’t been in a Demolition Derby since then, although I have had a few accidents. I was glad I gave it a shot (Lori not so sure) but it was time to move on to other things.
Today I think that many of us feel that we are in a Demolition Derby, getting hit from every side. Or we are on a train and we are going off the tracks. We feel we have no control and no matter which way we turn, there is bad news and darkness and negativity. Life is going to give us its best shot and we will get up. We must remember that we have a choice. Again, one of my favorite quotes from the Shawshank Redemption: “Get busy living or get busy dying.” We have a choice. We can get out of bed or stay in bed. We can mope around, or we can smile. We can be positive or negative. We can try or we can give up.
“If you find yourself in the deep-down dark, this is not the time to give up. Take your eyes off the door that has closed and look to the window that has opened. That’s where the light of heaven rushes in.” (Kyle Idleman, Don’t Give Up). This is the time to keep fighting, keep believing and God WILL give you the courage to keep going.”
No matter what our world is like, I will continue to be hopeful and will try to continue to make a difference. To be grateful, to be positive, to keep moving forward even when life is tough. Because, you see, my steering wheel is not broke. As Carrie Underwood so eloquently sang, I am letting Jesus take the wheel. When I let that happen, I know I will get through and you will to. God bless and God’s got this!