Have you ever had an experience so odd and out of place in your day that you have to recognize it as the work of God in your life? A divine intervention, but you have no idea what you're being intervened from? I had such an experience this week, courtesy of the Culpeper Sheriff's Department.
On a drenching rainy day, I was winding my way through some two lane roads in the Virginia countryside when I noticed a police car behind me. My first reaction, as would be most people's, was to glance at my speedometer. Sighing with relief, I was right on fifty-five miles per hour, I had nothing to worry about. Unless of course I was in a forty-five zone. The jolt was all the more harsh when the blue lights started flashing.
Now, I've been pulled over twice before. Once for a dead inspection and just one time for speeding, which I did not get a ticket for. I'm known for a heavy foot on the interstate, but not so much on wet back roads. When the deputy approached the car, my best guess was maybe I had a tail light out. At least I was hoping.
Very politely the deputy asked me if I knew how fast I was going. Well, shoot. I meekly offered "fifty-five?" He smiled and said no, more like sixty-five to seventy. What? Wait, me? I don't think so, but I wasn't about to argue with an officer of the law. What came next blew me away. The speed wasn't a big deal. Really? Ten to fifteen over the speed limit isn't considered a big deal, what kind of twilight zone was I in exactly?
Keep in mind, the whole time this discussion was going on, the deputy was standing in the rain with no hat. With a great deal of concern, he went on to explain that while he'd been following me I had crossed over the fog line at least ten times, that he had counted. I had no idea that the white line on the side of the road was called a fog line. Officer polite didn't think I would be intoxicated at that time of the morning, so what was going on? Was I on the phone or tired?
Now, I was already completely mortified, because like I said I don't have a lot of experience being pulled over by the police, so I was quick and emphatic with my answers. Absolutely I had not been on the phone, I hadn't even touched it! Gee, why didn't I follow up with "honest, officer!" Apparently I came across as very sincere. He smiled patronizingly and asked to see my license. One glance and he nodded knowingly. "You've been on the road quite awhile this morning." I was an hour and fifteen minutes into a two hour trip and it wasn't even nine a.m yet. "I think it's time for a break."
I've never had anyone, outside of family, be so concerned for my safety and well being. This deputy talked to me for several minutes of the dangers of being too tired on the wet roads and how he really hoped I would stop to stretch and get a drink. He even warned me about the possibility of standing water further down on route three. Remember that, it'll be important later.
Before he ran my license he asked if I had any issues with it. The emphatic panic was back. "No. I've never had a ticket." Like he wasn't about to find that out in two seconds.
With my license clear, he said I was cut loose, but again he really urged me to stop at the little store we were at and take a break. There wouldn't be another good spot for quite some time. I took his advice. Especially since he stayed at the store the whole time I was there.
I drove with my hands at ten and two and my car centered exactly between the lines the rest of the day, staying two miles below the speed limit. It wasn't until about an hour later that I realized the whole experience had been a little...odd.
The more I thought about it, the more certain I was that I had not been driving ten to fifteen miles over the speed limit, in the rain. I also tried to think about swerving off the road. Wouldn't I have noticed? My car has a poor alignment and pulls to the right, but I don't think I'm generally all over the road. The next oddity on my list, was the deputy's insistence I stop right where I was. Of course, I was free to go on, but he'd said there wouldn't be a good place to stop for quite some time. However, the city of Culpeper was less then ten miles away. The final straw came from my husband. "He stopped you and stood out in the rain, and didn't even give you a ticket?" It takes a really good hearted person to do that just out of concern.
When we were first married we lived in a apartment with a steep set of stairs. I was famous for falling down those stairs. Every time it flashed through my mind, a sixteenth of a second before it happened "I'm going to fall down the steps". I'd had that same kind of flash earlier on that rainy day, except it was "I'm going to be in an accident".
I can't say if there was any truth to it, and I certainly can't for sure that Heavenly Father sent that sheriff's deputy to delay my path. I do know that I wasn't on route three and didn't take that road at all on my way to my destination. I ended up on it later in the day when I strayed from my gps, so it was good I knew about the standing water.
Take those little spills, wrong turns and flashing blue lights in stride. There is a greater plan, and who knows what you could be intervened from.