Once I nearly ran myself over with my own car. Not many people can claim that kind of story, but it ranks right up there as one of my not-so-finest moments. Here’s how it happened…
It was the kind of morning that went all wrong in an instant. As I tried to leave for school, my car would not start. I called in an SOS to school, and one of my teacher friends dashed over to rescue me. All day long I worried aloud about how to solve the problem of fixing a dead battery while the car was still in the garage. We discussed options, and my good friend Julie agreed to drive me home after school and help jump-start the car.
When we arrived, Julie parked her vehicle at the end of my driveway. We opened the garage door and I sat in the driver’s seat, with the door open, while she gave me instructions. She asked me to put the car in neutral while she pushed it out of the garage. I did that, and she gave it a mighty push to get it rolling. As it rolled backwards down the slope of the driveway, it started to pick up speed just a little bit. This alarmed Julie, so she said, “Ok…stop.” I don’t know what my problem was—maybe it was the vision of Julie getting the car moving by pushing it, maybe it was just my complete lack of common sense—but instead of just putting my foot back inside the car and pressing down on the brake, I jumped out and ran behind the car, and threw my hands up on the trunk to get it stopped. Julie yelled “NOOOOOO!!!!” and fortunately my sense kicked back in. I jumped back into the driver’s seat just in time to hit the brake and stop the car before it rolled into the front of Julie’s truck.
The ensuing scene looked like this—I sat quietly in the front seat in shock, shaking my head and feeling very grateful that I wasn’t currently pinned between the two vehicles, while Julie fell to the ground laughing hysterically. It took quite a while before she was able to speak coherently, but then I believe she told me she had never seen anything that was so dumb and so funny at the same time. For a long time afterwards, all she had to do when she saw me in the hallway was throw her arms up and shout “STOP” to start the laughter all over again.
Unfortunately this isn’t the only example of my bad decision-making! I often jump way ahead of myself and react blindly to situations without using my head. I miss the easy, practical solution and instead try something impulsively that doesn’t make any sense. And I’m lucky if I don’t get myself pinned between a rock and a hard place in the process! When I catch myself doing this, I have to remind myself to “back it up” and use some common sense. Find the simple answer—don’t make it crazy and complicated! Think first! And if I ever need a reminder, I can just consider the time I nearly ran myself over with my own car. It’s not a day I am likely to ever forget. Neither will Julie…somewhere, she is still laughing.