It’s like Chasing an Ambulance

A couple days ago, I was late to a doctor’s appointment and sitting at yet another red light, cursing my tardiness.  Now that I have an official doctor for a husband, I realize how inconvenient it is for docs when their patients aren’t on time.  Yes, I know that many docs don’t run on time themselves, but it’s largely because we, the stupid patients, don’t get there on time.  So we push their schedules back. By the way, Dan isn’t my primary care doc…we don’t think he’d be so objective when it came to me. 

Back to sitting in the car.  I was watching my GPS tell me my expected arrival time, and noticing it was a good 15 minutes after the appointment.  And that’s expecting perfect traffic conditions. (Does anyone else do that?  Stare at the anticipated arrival time and try to shave off a few minutes?)

So I tried to calm myself and come up with nice sounding excuses to tell the doctor why I was late.  I didn’t think “I was waiting for my toenail polish to dry” would win him over.  Not coming up with anything good, I gritted my teeth and edged the car forward, waiting for the light to change, so I could race down the road to make up some more time.

But then I heard it.  A siren coming behind me.  I edged a little to the side of the road and watched an ambulance fly past me, siren blasting and lights flashing.  “Crud.  Now all the lights are going to get screwed up,” I thought.

But of course, it just took me a second to realize that the ambulance was going my way, and now, all the lights were green, with a wide open trail blazed before me.  So, I did what any late person would do…I chased the ambulance (of course, keeping a safe distance behind it).

And I flew through the lights too.  I watched that GPS arrival time move back, back, until I was a much more respectful 5 minutes late.

Do you know what it’s like when you’re walking out of God’s will, and nothing seems to go your way?  Sitting at the stoplight, I felt like that.  Nothing was working out, and by the skin of my teeth, I would make things happen.  But then, that ambulance came along, opening things up for me.  And I remembered what it’s like when God calls me to the impossible, and he opens up all the streets for me, as long as I follow him. 

I finally arrived, five minutes after the appointment time.  Feeling good about myself, I walked up to the reception desk and told the lady I was there for my appointment.  She looked up my appointment and verified that I was 15 minutes early. Hold on, what?

It turns out, months in advance, I’d scheduled the thing on my calendar purposefully 20 minutes early, just in case I was pushing my luck and rushing in late.  (This is turning into a very annoying, chronic habit.)

So, in the end, I didn’t need to stress it. God’s provision was there in granting me the foresight to plan ahead, to take account of my weaknesses (running late), and to make a way, should I fail yet again.  But maybe he had a small part in that ambulance thing too. Just to remind me who’s got my back.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. God also opens doors in times you least expect it and always in His perfect time. You must have inherited running late from me. I tend to set my appointments and schedule my calendar time earlier also.

    AL: So I get to blame you for my bad habits? =) We’ll have to compare notes about how early to schedule ourselves ahead of time.

  2. Amy, if you tend to run late, how do you feel when your students or friends are late? Do you give them the same grace as you received in this experience?

    This profound insight comes from being married to a woman who believes being five minutes late is really “on time.”

    AL: Good question. And no, I’m not a fan of late assignments from students. But I hope I extend grace when given the opportunity. Thanks for the reminder that I need to extend grace, just as I have received it. Sounds like I’d get along with your wife very well!


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