True 'Lessons Learned' Stories
by Deb Matthews

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Welcome! Here's another true miracle story from my collection of things that have really happened to me (including stories about miracles, angels, Civil Air Patrol and God's love and blessings). This one is from the 70s about listening to God's "voice" and gentle nudging.

"Blowout At High Speed"

Copyright © 1999 by Debra K. Matthews. All rights reserved

The Bible talks a lot about what we say. There is power in the words we speak. Power for good and power for less than good. It also reminds us to pay attention to the still small voice that God often uses, as well as the quiet little 'nudges' we sometimes get.

A prime example of both was brought home to me on a Labor Day Weekend, heading over the Cascade Mountains to a drill competition.

I had left Seattle much later than I should have because some of the cadets who were to ride with me got to the pickup site late. We ended up leaving almost two hours after the scheduled departure time.

It was a hot Friday evening and I didn't have air conditioning. There were eight of us packed like sardines into the two seats of my station wagon, with all our gear piled into the back. The speed limit back then was 70 and I was pushing it in an effort to make up lost time. All I wanted was to get to Eastern Washington, get out of the cramped car and get everyone settled in the dorms.

We'd been driving for a couple of hours and I was concentrating on the road and only half listening to the conversations going on around me. The sun was bright out and I found myself thinking about something my Driver's Ed teacher had said. As I was speeding down the road I remembered him telling us that at high speeds car tires get hot enough to fry an egg on them. 'Yuk! What a flavor that would make,' I had thought.

Eyes still on the road, I turned my head a little to get everyone's attention and announced, "Well, if anyone's hungry, the tires oughta be hot enough now to cook on."

Just as I finished the statement, there was a loud BANG and whump whump whump whump whump whump whump ... 'Blow out!' I thought. 'Front tire!' The teacher had said front wheel blowouts are deadly at high speeds! And I didn't have power steering!

Everyone was dead silent as I fought to get the car under control. I was in the fast lane and the car was pulling powerfully towards the traffic rushing by me on our right. There was an exit up ahead, but no one would let me over. Besides, it was taking all the strength I had to keep from hitting someone or going over the edge on my left.

As the wheels stopped, the car's body continued forward and to the side, suddenly turning the wheels towards the incline. There was another POP as the front end lurched to the left and then suddenly went down. Two flats! The violent force of stopping had broken the seal on the other front tire and let all the air out in a second.

There was only a small shoulder at the side of the road. We had finally come to a rest, but with part of the car still in the lane and people coming dangerously close to hitting us. Fortunately, a policeman came along within minutes and had a tow truck there almost as quick. We were towed into Cle Elum and got two new tires put on in no time.

We finally made it to the competition, and I learned a valuable lesson (besides the one to not speed). I learned to pay better attention to those little "warning" thoughts -- and to watch what I say!


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Added July 11, 1999