By Isaac Crandall
A simple story for the men out there; Kim had asked me if I could write a small MAN segment. I am honored to be a part of “Dirt, Trucks, and Faith”-seeing God through the eyes of young men.
Growing up in a stricter Christian home I had always gone to church in my little suit and tie. When I got older I got more freedom from my parents to make the decision to go to church or not go. As a young boy I chose not to go to church. I would rather have fun riding my dirt bike, watching movies, playing games and, etc. Sounds pretty normal so far right?
I kept my personal relationship with God although it was distant and I only kept him there when I needed something or if something bad was happening. I had never experienced God before. I had never really felt Him or seen Him. Lastly, I had a small obsession with cars which leads into this story.
It started when I was kind of a careless, absentminded, 16 /17-year-old boy. I had just gotten my license and I was on my way back from Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort. It had been an awesome day of skiing. I was amped up! I had landed a few 540′s and that was a big deal to me. Being so amped up I figured what better thing to do than see how fast I could get home in my Honda Prelude that I had just finished rebuilding. I was on my way through Coeur d’Alene Idaho passing a few cars, driving a bit aggressive at 85 mph or so. When I got to the straighter part of the freeway I decided to crack open the throttle a bit more. I passed under an overpass and all the sudden lights flipped on in the distance behind me. My mind was contemplating between running to the exit or pulling over and being responsible. The Lord led me to pull the car over.
As the officer came up to the window, I was shaking and almost crying. He said, ”Son do you know how fast you were going?” “Umm, no I don’t?” I said. He told me, ”I clocked you at around 106 mph”. I was thinking I was lucky he didn’t catch me doing the actual speed I was doing. “Do you have any idea how much trouble you’re in?” he said. In a quivering voice I answered “no”.
I gave him my license and registration and he said, “I will be back”. Meanwhile, tears are coming down my face as I am thinking of how mad my parents were going to be. Two more police cars show up so I have a three state troopers on my case. At that point, I thought for sure I was going to jail for reckless driving. I started praying and praying hard. I asked God to get me out of this predicament. The officer finally came back and said, “Do you know how many families and people’s lives you took in your hands tonight driving like a fool? These roads are slick, it is dark out and, you are not an experienced driver.”
I had never thought of it in that prospective before……
The officer then said, “I get a vibe from you that your Dad is going to kick your butt when you get home because you are an honest kid and you will tell them what happened tonight.” I said “yes sir you are correct”. ”It’s lucky you are still in Idaho” he told me. “Here is your speeding ticket now DRIVE UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT ALL THE WAY HOME TONIGHT”. I said “yes sir” as I slowly started my way home. I knew I was going to get a not so nice talk from my parents, be disciplined and, have my car taken away.
After the talk it was late. I snuck out to our field by our house, knelt down and starting praying to God as if He was a great friend I had let down. Before that night I had been driving a dangerous road very aggressively. I now see that night as God’s way of communicating to me that I needed to slow down and take a step back. I needed to look at my life and ask myself, “Am I driving too aggressive? Was I driving as the world would want me to drive?” In my personal life I found the answer to those questions a few months later. I found that I need to be driving strong and steady for Him and for the benefit of others. By this I mean do not just sit at an idle……God wants us to put on some low profile “Y” rated tires and really grip His highway.
I asked for forgiveness that night and asked if He would start guiding my life in the direction He intends me to go. I prayed for myself to take more time and initiative to consider other people’s lives instead of my own. I had been being selfish. I prayed that He would help me grow into a man of God. A man He would be proud to call His son. I asked Him to help me understand that He is real and that He is all-powerful.
Keep in mind it was a cold night and I was freezing. After I sat in silence for a few minutes a warm comforting wind seemed to come around me and almost hug me. It was like a warm blanket filled with mercy and grace, letting me know that He is was there and He forgave me. I can’t explain the feeling even to this day. I broke down and started crying. From my perspective, it was as if God was showing me that He still loved me after years of turning my back to Him. I had chosen my highway rather than His and yet He still loved me. The same is true for you. God loves you even if you have chosen your own highway for a time. He loved me when I fell away and He loves you too. That experience has never left me till this day; God reaches us all at different times and in different ways. I think it is amazing the way he can take an experience that pertains to you as a specific person and make you realize certain things. He can help you on your specific path.
I love the way He loves me. I have to say, “Lord I am amazed by you”.