Thankful Reminder

The Guideposts editor-in-chief reminds that there is a higher power always protecting us.

Posted in , Apr 23, 2010

First, thank you all for the prayers and advice about Millie’s hot spot infection and my tick bites that I blogged about last week, somewhat hysterically at the time. We’re both doing better and taking our antibiotics together first thing in the morning, though I don’t have to wrap mine in a piece of cheese to get it down. Not yet, at least. And we’re both trying not to scratch too much. That’s the harder part.

My morning started with a strange coincidence. In one of my desk drawers I came across a key to a Jeep Cherokee caked in mud. Then I opened the daily devotional on and it happened to be authored by me about the very incident the mud-caked key relates to. I saved that key for a reason.

As I recount in the devotional I was driving up to the mountains in a spring rainstorm, a barely one-year-old Millie in back asleep in her dog bed, when I lost control of the Jeep on a slick, winding road. Suddenly we were airborne. The Jeep bounced and rolled down an embankment once, twice, then landed with a huge splash, wheels down in a swamp about 30 feet from shore in three feet of water. It is said that the mind slows down action in a life-or-death crisis. This happened so quick it was as if time sped up.

Mud and ooze caked the cracked windshield and the passenger-side roof was crushed in. Water and mud sloshed over the floorboards. My first panicked thought was of Millie, trapped in the back. I climbed out and waded to her. She was shaken but miraculously unharmed (as was I).

I popped the hatch and said, “You’re going to have to learn to swim, girl,” and eased her into the murky swamp. One arm under her belly I steered her toward shore while she struggled to keep her chin above the muck paddling heroically and instinctively using her big tail as a rudder. Lightning split the sky followed by a rising rumble of thunder. The storm was on top of us. 

We emerged onto the roadside where a crowd of motorists had stopped; one wrapped me in a blanket while Millie shook off swamp sludge all over everybody. A woman who saw the wreck swore it was a miracle we survived.

Later, when a wrecker towed my totaled vehicle from the water like some slain, slimy behemoth from the deep, I reached in and snatched the ignition key. I knew it was the last I’d see of the poor Jeep.

It has been two years nearly to the day since that accident, and the key (and the devotional) are a not-so-subtle reminder to stop and count my blessings, for blessed I was considering how it could have turned out (Julee would have been riding in the crushed passenger side, for instance, if she had not decided at the last minute to catch the train up the next morning). I shudder to think. 

A skin infection and a few tick bites seem like no big thing, because I know that when I cannot protect myself, there is a power that does, and today I was reminded of that and am thankful.   

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of GUIDEPOSTS Publications.

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Tags: Dogs,Faith
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