Saturday, June 22, 2019


At least once a year, I have the unfortunate privilege, of driving across the state of Wisconsin.  I don’t intend to be degrading to Wisconsin…that would be unnecessary…the Packers take care of that for me. Yet, it is because, second only to a drive across the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, eastern Montana, or Texas…it is to me the longest and most mind numbing trip that I have ever encountered. It is inevitable, with my wife having been from Michigan, that we would traverse this territory once a year or more. The trip is only 4 or 5 hours from the southern border of the adjoining Illinois, to the Minnesota border near the Twin Cities…but WOW! Does it feel like 10 hours!  In fact, one return trip in January, our navigation was 10 strong hours long, while we endured a snow storm while driving through the entire state.  Maybe Wisconsin had to wait for Minnesota to finish their plowing and then rent out the Gopher State’s equipment.  Go Gophers!

It was a bit over two years ago, when we were making a return trip home after an early summer trip.  The day was hot and our air conditioning was not functioning…at all!!  The journey had already been long…after having been stuck in Chicago traffic for 2 hours in 94 degree weather…did I mention no air conditioning? When we hit Wisconsin, I actually felt relief to be through what I thought was the worst of it…but the traffic through Wisconsin was behaving oddly.  Like the rhythm of panting lungs, the traffic would accelerate up to cruising speed…70 mph…and then suddenly come to a complete stop!  Only to do it again…and again…and again.  This had been the pattern from Beloit to Black River Falls.

I had been recently passed by two Floridians. I remember these two Floridians because they had unique license plates…one said Mathews, and one said Solocam…and to the fact that I got a REALLY close look at them!.

I remember considering their plates, while cruising in the left lane at the posted 70 mph…never a mile per hour faster…5 miles per hour faster? Yes…but one mile per hour faster? No. I thought it odd that these two Floridian plates were so closely related, thus I pondered, “I wonder if they are for the Mathews company?...or perhaps they are a family of bow hunters?...or perhaps just a crazy coincidence? many questions…”

When very abruptly the Floridian license plates began getting very close to my windshield…very quickly!

I swiftly changed my thinking from “hunting” to…“Great SCOTT!...there is no way I am going to be able to stop!” And I was right…there was no physical way to stop the car before striking their customized plate…and it was going to be bad! I did the only thing that I could do…I briskly steered left onto the shoulder of the highway…praying to avoid finding a Solocam in my teeth.  I have never had braces and really did not want to start.

As soon as I hit the shoulder the tall grass swatted at my grill and the loose gravel was pushing me further to the ditch…and the DITCH was DEEP.  I am in the perfect position to roll this van!
I had some decisions to make and I needed to make them quick! Two options came to mind. First, I could take the nose of the minivan and steer it down into the ditch.  This would prevent rolling the vehicle…but there would be no way of recovering our journey and making it home that day.  It would take a tow truck with a ¼ mile winch cable to extract us…or more likely a helicopter would have to lift us out of the swampy bottom of the ditch.

My second option was to risk rolling and pray that we could hang to the shoulder.  I chose the second…or perhaps more accurately, I chose not to attempt the first.  After 500 yards of shredding ditch hay and the grace of God, the tires secured some traction and I found the van climbing back onto the highway…right behind the Solocam. 

There were imprints of my fingers left into the steering wheel from my white knuckle death grip…sweat pouring down my head and under arms…not just from the 94 degree heat. I am thinking, “That was intense!”

I hear Sarah say, “Wow! You are an amazing driver!”

Isaac saying, “wow! That was fun!”

Hannah saying, “I thought we were going to die!”

Carissa saying, “Dad! You made me lose my colored pencil”.

Erica, waking up, and saying, “What happened? I was sleeping…what is everyone talking about? Can we do it again?...that’s not fair!”

Solocam, raised their hands through their sunroof and applauded my efforts.  As much as I would like to take full credit for my inner Dale Earnhardt, I really feel that there were angels pushing the side of our van…keeping us out of the ditch and leading us back onto the road.

Some may mock and call me crazy...that’s fine…then you have to acknowledge that perhaps I should see if Richard Petty has an opening for a driver on his team. 

I think that sometimes we believe that the spiritual realm doesn’t really exist…or perhaps only existed in the stories that we find in the Bible, but not in REAL life.  I would argue…that perhaps the spiritual realm is more “REAL LIFE”…than the life we live.  We see but one realm…our own.  Yet, if a spiritual realm is there…and we don’t see it…which is more real.  That which we see? or that which is truly there?

In Daniel chapter 10, Daniel, is gifted a very real picture of the spiritual realm.  The veil is removed, that allows him to briefly see what is going on in the spiritual realm.  What he sees is astounding! He sees angels and demons and battles and warfare! It is incredible!

Perhaps we too need to take a few moments and consider the real realm that is around us, the realm that we cannot see.  If we “could” see what is going on…I think we would see angels and demons…battling it out…for our sake! Fighting for you…and for me!

May you come to see that there is a real…spiritual realm…where God is calling his angels to fight for you and your behalf!

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