I rarely drive the speed limit. The orange finger of my speedometer usually rests a good 5 mph below the limit. In a fast-paced world, I refuse to rush.
We were driving down our gravel road, headed south and towards home. Meg was in the passenger seat with treats we had bought at the convenience store three miles away. We were nearly there and my mind was occupied with other thoughts besides the road. As I approached the intersection, a car went zooming by, racing east without so much as a glance....a pause. I slammed on my brakes, heart racing as I realized how close we had come to colliding; 3 more seconds and we would have been in the midst of disaster.
I sat there a moment, heart pounding and looked at my daughter. How could I have been so careless, so absent-minded? Here beside me was one of the most precious things in my life...and I could have lost her in an instant of thoughtlessness. Even though I had the right of way, I should have slowed down, should have looked. Because in traffic, even rural traffic, people don't always do what they're supposed to do.
Since that day, if I find myself speeding up, I slow things down. I remember that moment and let my vehicle find that comfortable place below the limit. There is nothing that is so important that it requires me to rush, to speed...to put myself and others in jeopardy.
Yesterday at the rainy intersection of two Kansas highways, a car hydro-planed and hit another, killing two people: a teacher from Oklahoma, and a husband and father of two babies. I was on that very highway, in that very place, just 30 minutes earlier. I don't know if that accident could have been prevented, but as I pray for those families and give thanks for our own safety, I'm reminded of the importance of paying heed on the roadway...and slowing things down.
So go ahead. Pass me if you wish. I'll bide my time driving below the limit. I'm taking the scenic route.......and I'll see you when I get there.