Air bags hurt. A lot. Trust me, I know.
Last week, I totaled an Excursion with six of my relatives in the vehicle. I missed a turn after entering a cloud of gravel and dirt on a country road near my son’s ranch and ended up in a deep ditch.
We left the Red Bull practice event at Adam’s ranch around 8:30 P.M. Dave’s family had flown in from Las Vegas to watch the festivities, all of them serious dirt-bike racers. To be able to watch the professionals perform their stunts was a dream-come-true for them. We loaded up in the car, everyone seat-belted in, with my step-daughter, her husband, their daughter and her husband, and their two children (a one-year-old and three-year-old) buckled in and sharing their thrills from the evening.
Because of a drought in our area, the roads were dry and dusty. Nothing I haven’t seen before. The details aren’t important, except that when we jerked to a halt, On-Star was activated and asked if it needed to call 9-1-1. “Yes” was said in unison. (We later found out that OnStar notified the emergency room that the hysterical cries of the babies was all the answer it needed.)
Cars coming up behind us immediately came to our aid, helping excavate those who had difficulty exiting the vehicle, tending to those who were bleeding or burned by the air bags, offering any help needed. The emergency vehicles were close behind, all providing necessary aid and transportation to the hospital.
Clearly, God had protected us from a much worse fate. Within twenty feet of where we landed was a telephone pole. Had we hit that, or had I jerked the Excursion to make the 90-degree turn, the outcome could have been much more deadly.
When we viewed the vehicle the day after the wreck, Dave, my son-in-law, noticed several triggered safety precautions. The brake lights were still on (serving as a warning to drivers behind us that we wrecked, and the brakes were locked (to keep us from continuing forward, should we be on a cliff.) Seat belts were extended, preventing anyone from buying the vehicle in this unsafe condition.
Sometimes, pain teaches the strongest lesson. When we loaded into the car, Tyler, the passenger in the rear seat, tried to lock down the headrest in front of him but couldn’t. That ended up being a projectile that hit the one-year-old above the eye and left a V-shaped hole in Tyler’s forehead that necessitated eight stitches. It seemed like such a little thing at the time. Another “little thing” I ignored was that a friend at the Red Bull site set a pin on my phone to navigate my way out of Missouri. When my son-in-law said that he knew the way, I never pushed the “pin” button. Had I done so, this accident would not have happened.
In the Bible, Solomon warned of the “little foxes” that spoil the vines, things we dismiss that lead to grave consequences. Drops of water are very small, yet how often they become a raging torrent. The termite is a small insect, but it can destroy a three-story house if ignored. Starting with one cigarette can make you feel cool until you end up with lung cancer. Sneak peeks at pornography are the leading cause of men and women entering sex-trafficking.
Louis of Granada, a Dominican priest of the 16th century, in The Sinner’s Guide advises us to resist small sins “for there is no enemy too weak to harm us if we make no resistance.” A careless sin life we label as small can morph into a lifestyle devoid of God.
Dear readers, it’s never worth the risk.