Thursday, April 24, 2014
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LOOKING UP • JOE BAISDEN | Columnist causes traffic jam

I did it.          
 It happened Monday evening while making my way down 13th Avenue to Park Place Manor for our regular first Monday gospel singing.
 It is a route that I have traveled for many years, but there was a major difference as I approached the nursing home Monday evening.  Last month’s trip was in the daylight, but the time change imposed Sunday threw this month’s trip into darkness.
Add to the darkness a light rain.
The entrance to Park Place was not lit, and I misjudged where it was and turned left into the curb.
Traffic is heavy that time of day on 13th.  Suddenly there was light, but it was not light illuminating the entrance.  It was lights shining from cars approaching in the west bound lane that I was blocking.  Add the lights of the stream of vehicles fast approaching in the lane I had just left.


What on earth was I going to do?
In Jesus’ speech to the crowd in Matthew 23, he chastised the teachers of the law and the Pharisees who sit in Moses’ seat.  He advised the people to “obey them and do everything they tell you.  But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach (v. 3).”
It was just last week that the title of this column was “Don’t Panic!”
Believe it or not, I took my own advice and did not panic.  I looked toward the car that was approaching in the lane I was blocking.  He stopped leaving plenty of room for me to back up quickly and turn my car in his direction and drive into the entrance a short ways away.  While doing this, the lead driver in the eastbound lane slowed, giving me the time and space necessary to complete the negotiation.
Safely in the parking lot, I looked back at what seemed like an endless stream of cars resuming their progress in both directions.  There was no way I could at that very moment communicate my gratitude to each who spared me a collision that evening and spared others a lot of trouble and inconvenience.  (If you were a part of that mini-jam Monday evening, please know that I thank you from the bottom of my heart!)
These are certainly the times to pray for travel mercies.  The media is filled daily with reports of accidents, and some of those involve fatalities.  Travel in the area is made more hazardous than usual by all the highway construction.
One of our sons-in-law commutes from his home in Waco to Belton where he works as an English professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  Our other son-in-law makes his way from his home in Belton to Austin, where he works as an attorney for State Farm.  Janelle and I pray daily for their safety.  Heavy on our hearts are the many drivers and students on school buses.
The Bible has a message to drivers in our busy and complicated world.  From the Apostle Paul in Philippians:  “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (2:4); and the words of Jesus in Matt. 7:12:  “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” – Isa. 26:3