We have two seasons here in Wisconsin, winter and road construction. So I hardly noticed the red lights and siren in my rearview mirror as I was navigating my way down the dark one lane road trying to dodge the orange cones bouncing off my windshield. Apparently street lamps are not important when you send thousand pound missiles down the highway held together with some bolts and four wheels (the road crew took down the street lights when they started the construction).
Finally spotting the lights and having no idea how I missed those, I made my way over to the side of the road, my driver’s license at the ready, Officer Friendly appears at my window rendering me temporarily blind with his million megawatt flashlight.
And then another police car pulled up with two more officers in it.
“Driver’s license please.”
Handing it over, Officer Friendly passes it to other officer standing behind him.
“Do you know why I pulled you over tonight?”
“Yes sir, I was swerving”
“Yes ma’am, and why were you swerving?”
“I was trying not run over the little thingys sticking out of the road.” (I later found they were drain pipes).
“I see, so you thought it would be better if you took out four orange cones instead?”
“Yes sir, I thought big pieces of rubber that looked like upside down garbage cans would do less damage, they were the lesser to two evils sir.”
“ I see, please step out of the car.”
“Have you been drinking tonight ma’am?”
“Not a drop.”
“I see, and where are you coming from?”
And we have crickets, cue the deer in headlights.
I saw the conundrum written all over Officer Friendly’s face, that was the last thing he expected to hear, he thought he nabbed himself a drunk driver instead he managed to lasso himself a Jesus freak.
“Ma’am, I am going to administer a few field sobriety tests, just to make sure.”
So I walked the line, sang the ABC’s and touched my finger to my nose.
“Ma’am, please turn around and place your hands behind your back.” And Officer Friendly slaps on the silver bracelets.
Swell, I am going to be sleeping in a jail cell tonight, swinging a tin cup across the bars singing, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, in a deep throaty voice.
“You are not under arrest we do this for our protection. If everything checks out with your driver’s license you’ll be free to go.”
Well Merry Christmas to me!
Then it felt like the presents were snatched from my arms. If? I carry a strong dislike for that word, it grates my last nerve there is nothing definitive or nice about that word.
If the test results are negative
If the company decides to hire you
If we choose you
I actually filled out a job application once that read: If we think you are good enough to work for us, they didn’t hire me.
So when I heard “if your driver’s license checks out you will be free to go”, the worry sent shock waves of panic through me. I knew that I had nothing to worry about but what if’s were still beating me up, what if I have a warrant for my arrest that I don’t know about, what if my identity has been stolen and someone went on a crime spree in my name, what if this and what if that.
We made some small chit chat as we were waiting for the other officer to finish up, only then did I catch his name on his name plate, but don’t ask me what it was because it had like 30 letters in it.
One of the other Officers made his way back to my car holding my license out in my direction, “Ma’am you are free to go.”
“Bless you officers and may God keep you safe tonight.” And with that I was off.
I can write and joke around about this now, but at the time I was terrified I really thought they were going to take me to jail and I was going to have to call someone to come fish me out of county lock up. I am a worry warrior, I don’t know why, most of what I worry about only happens in my own mind.
40 percent of what we worry about never happens
30 percent is in regards to things of the past that we cannot change
12 percent is other people’s opinions that we cannot change
10 percent is about personal health that only gets worse as we worry about it
And 8 percent of what we worry about concern real problems that we can influence.
92 percent of what we worry about is needless.
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still! Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?