A while back during a rainstorm I was traveling on the roadway behind other vehicles. Like I always do, I gave myself plenty of distance between myself and the van that was ahead of me. All of a sudden the van’s brake lights came on and it was obvious it was an emergency braking occurring as it began a little fishtail action. I began braking and due to the rain and the speed, the anti-braking system was not producing the braking needed to avoid a collision with the van.
During my time as a law enforcement officer I completed a number of emergency driving courses. Preparedness and Reaction. Preparedness and Reaction. These are words that were always embedded in your mind in any emergency driving courses, whether it was a basic emergency vehicle driving course or pursuit driving course. You were taught to always maintain a level of preparedness for the “what-if”. Thinking beyond the “now” and into the possibility of the “next”, and always remember to breathe.
For example: I see a car backing out of the driveway a distance ahead of me. Instead of thinking that the driver sees me and will wait until I go past before backing onto the road, I start thinking that the driver doesn’t see me and will back onto the road right in front of me. How will I react? I’ll slow down, look in my rearview and side mirrors to make sure my path is clear and ease in the clearest direction and if time permits I will blow my horn, and always breathe. Or, if the path is not clear and an accident is inevitable, what is the route of the least possibility of serious injury and damage, whether or not to head for the ditch or run into the vehicle, which is sometimes the best and safest course of action.
I avoided the collision with the van by lifting my foot off the brake and reapplying and easing to the right knowing I would not stop in time. I came to a stop a few inches past the bumper with just enough room between the van and the ditch to avoid an accident. Thankfully the car ahead of the van who decided to turn into a driveway without giving a turn signal was not struck either.
We can’t always be prepared, but we can try. None of us were prepared for the pandemic. We were caught totally off guard. It took us a little while, but we settled down and we took a breath, we regrouped, we adapted, and we started moving forward the best way we could. We haven’t been prepared for all the other events that have divided our country and our world, but we stopped and breathed, and we’re moving forward. When we realize there is nothing else that we can do about a particular situation we find ourselves in, then we breathe and we pray.
The Bible references preparedness many times. Be reminded that it also tells us to prepare our minds. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (NIV). The devil is real and he prowls around in search of ways to attack us, to weigh us down and devour us. Be prepared through scripture, worship, and prayer. Through your preparedness you will be able to react and avoid the devil’s attack from whatever direction it may come.