I was hit this morning in Memphis.
I was stopped at a traffic light along Riverside Drive. I casually glanced up at my rear-view mirror just in time to see a red Toyota compact bearing down on me quickly. The driver was obviously distracted, probably checking her iPhone for a text message or changing her radio dial.
I braced for the collision- knowing that the impact was only moments away. The driver looked up at the last instant, applied her breaks, and then slammed into my bumper.
Before I could gather my thoughts, the light turned green and traffic started moving again. The driver behind me had her head in her hands- looking straight out her winshield to survey the damage to her hood.
I slowly moved forward and looked for a place to pull over. I turned on my signal to indicate a right-hand turn on Jefferson Street, hoping that the lady behind me would follow. I wanted to make sure she was o.k., survey the damage to our vehicles, and exchange insurance information if necessary.
I was glad to see that she had decided to follow me on Jefferson. I looked at her car in my rear-view mirror, but I could not see the severity of the damage. I looked for a good place to pull over and moved toward a lane of parking meters. Unfortunately, the woman behind me quickly changed her mind….turning and making a hasty retreat back toward Riverside Drive. She made a quick right-hand turn and was gone in an instant.
I was stunned.
Why did she drive off?
Why wouldn’t she want to see if I was o.k.?
Why wouldn’t she want to immediately check on her car?
My shock soon turned to frustration. My truck was o.k. (just a few scratches) and more importantly- I was o.k. I’m sure that her grill and hood were extensively damaged.
I thought about this incident- and the woman involved- all morning. Why did she drive away? She was obviously scared. Scared of my reaction. Scared to look at her car’s damage. Scared to look at the damage to my truck. She had a split decision to make a decision- and she decided to run. Away. Afraid.
My frustration turned in to sorrow later in the day. Did she not have insurance? How would she pay for the damage to her car?
It made me think about how many times have I participated in a ‘hit and run’ in my daily life. I have sprinted away from a relationship that desperately needs repair. I’ve ignored someone who desperately needs help- but it’s out of my comfort level to lend a hand. I make sure that I get in that last, painful verbal shot during an argument and walk away. I know that I fail others each and every day, and I pray that I can take a lesson from the accident this morning.
We are all going to fail. All of us fall short- even on our best of days. The true test of character, however, is how we respond and learn from our mistakes. Our eternal Father offers us a sense of peace if we are willing to own up to our mistakes, confess our transgressions and work to become a more complete person. He offers us a fresh start each and every day.
I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:5
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. Psalm 32: 1-2
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. I Peter 1:23
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the rusurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I Peter 1:3
I’m sorry that I reacted the way I did this morning. I pray that the woman who hit my truck is o.k. I also pray that the next time I am faced with an opportunity to ‘hit and run,’ I have the courage, wisdom and strength to make the right decision.
Have a good day- and God bless.