Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013.01.13 GPS On Track

Last evening at about 6:15 p.m. we heard a big BANG, followed by police sirens, and every blinking light there could at the railroad track that runs just behind our house. 

We are quite used to the trains rushing through back and forth from Fitchburg, and to the clanging of the warning bells to stop traffic as the gates go down. The train never honks, because the gates are usually faithful. But last night we heard two honk— at the lone car on the tracks facing into this speeding ball of steel, called a train.

The train always wins.  Although the driver had put on the emergency brake it wasn’t in enough time to stop the train, and the car went flying off the tracks.

Oh my God, is always the first prayer.

Dick and others went outside to see what happened. They saw a demolished car, a train full of commuters stopped in mid-journey, firemen and police directing traffic and creating order, and one woman talking to police.

The dazed woman told police and others she was okay.  She said her GPS told her to turn left. She turned left and found herself on the RR tracks facing into an oncoming train headlight. Second prayer: thank God, she got out of the car and was safe before her car was hit.

No one was hurt physically, but I prayed for the woman: thanks for her life, that shame and horror would not overwhelm her and would in time be healed, that her family would be forgiving and not scorning, and that everyone who relies on a GPS device would NOT trust it over their own senses. 

I also renewed my own resolve not to get a GPS.  Knowing myself, I would become dependent on it and never know at all where I was going—a dangerous state of affairs for someone who is already directionally challenged.  I’d rather stop and ask a human being.

After all, God dwells in human flesh, not computer mechanics. Or so we Christians say.