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Speed is the Demon

James Brey, iStock Photo

Our friend J. was on his way to a meeting today, driving down the two-lane road from his home in the country. Someone Else was driving down that same road, coming from the other direction. Someone Else was in a hurry and decided to pass the car in front of him, even though he could not see around that car. What Someone Else could not see was our friend in his car. By the time SE saw J.'s car, he was crashing into it, head-on.

J. reacted quickly and pulled his car just enough to the right to keep from getting killed, but not from being badly injured. At this point, we know he has two dislocated hips, internal bleeding, a broken femur and a cracked vertebra. Rescue workers cut J. from his Ford Expedition and got him to the hospital. A whole bunch of us are spinning prayer wheels right now for J and his wife, who is at the hospital with him. He is undergoing more tests as the doctors look for additional injuries.

The title of the old rock song "War" could just have easily been "Speed:"  
Speed! What is it good for? Absolutely nothin'!

So much of what is Good takes Time:  seasons, flowers, trees, wine, friendship, children, growth of all kinds, art, music... love.  So much of what is terrible takes next to no time: a car crash, a shot fired, a punch thrown, pushing "send" for an email written in haste, pulling out a credit card to make an impulse buy ... 

Momentum can be good, except when it's not. If people still traveled on horses, they would not think it a good idea to let the horse have its way and run away with them in traffic. Yet, we turn our cars into runaway beasts and pay dearly for it. 

If you want to be efficient, that's good. If you want to be punctual, that's good (and we know that it takes preparation to be punctual). If you want to do well at the 100-meter at a track meet, that's great, too. If you think you want to live in the fast lane, you need to remember that many more people die there than live there. Speed is a drug I can give up. I hope you'll join me in abstaining.

Be well, J., be well.


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