Opportunity rear-ended me the other day. For real.
I was driving my middle son to work on a straight-away road. I spotted the large truck making a left turn. Apparently, the person driving the white four-door thought that his obstructed view gave him the right-of-way to make a left-hand turn across two lanes of traffic as I was driving past the turning truck. I guess he thought my blasting horn, the screeching wheels behind me, and the impact to my brand-new lease vehicle were not his problems. He continued his left turn and drove off after the young man who rear-ended me and I pulled over to the shoulder.
Too bad for him. Because he missed his opportunity. For real.
Both the young man and I agreed. The other guy should have stayed. We would both be late. We had to exchange insurance information. I would have to call the police.
We agreed on something else. We would smile. We would remain calm.
Which provided another opportunity. See, my son and I were already late.
“It’s my fault,” he said.
I didn’t completely disagree. He should have gotten ready on time. Stomping around when I reminded him to brush his teeth hadn’t been necessary. Arguing about eating breakfast could have been skipped. But, I didn’t say that.
“No, it wasn’t. And it could have been a lot worse.”
Because if I hadn’t stopped and honked, if I hadn’t been rear-ended, that guy in the white car would have struck the passenger side of the car. My son would have felt the impact. My son would have sustained the injury.
So I took the opportunity not to injure him with blame, but to impact him with the impression on how the young man and I chose to express ourselves. We didn’t stomp around and argue. We smiled. We stayed calm.
While we waited for the police, I took the opportunity to call home. No answer from my youngest son. When I returned home, I could have yelled at him for being inconsiderate. Instead, I explained the importance of answering the phone. Then I gave him a driver’s ed lesson since he is taking classes right now.
By the way, it was a good thing I gave that lesson and called the police. The day before there had been an accident in that same spot when someone with an obstructed view from a left-turning vehicle attempted a left-hand turn across two lanes of traffic.
I wonder if the city will take the opportunity to put in a controlled intersection.
In any case, I’m grateful I stayed controlled. I’m not always smiling. I’m not always calm. For real. But, God gave me an opportunity. Thanks to Him, I took it.