Tuesday, January 27, 2009

But for the Grace of God Go I

The origin of this statement was one John Bradford, an English Protestant martyr, who uttered these words in the 16th century while watching fellow Protestants being led to the scaffold. The actual phrase was "There but for the grace of God goes John Bradford".
This statement has come to be used when one is counting one's blessings as compared to others less fortunate/the fate of others.
Note above I wrote "...and English Protestant martyr..."; unfortunately for Mr. Bradford, his good luck did not hold out and he was ultimately burned at the stake as a heretic.
Anyway, this sentiment popped into my head this morning as I returned from dropping The Kid off at school.
The route we always take, 15/501 to either the Erwin Road or Cornwallis exit, was as usual, heavily trafficked this morning. Mr. B had commented a few days ago that he'd noticed people were going considerably slower there due to increased cop visibility. In other words, the traffic cops had been targeting this stretch to pull people over. A good thing, as, despite the fact it is a 55 mph zone, folks routinely go almost 80 mph. Today, however, it seemed to me that people were once again driving with no consideration given to the speed limit.
It takes roughly 20 minutes to get from the exit, to The Kid's school, and back onto 15/501 heading home. When I got back onto 15/501, I immediately noticed a lot of flashing lights on the other side of the road (e.g., where we'd been 20 minutes earlier) and that eerie emptiness of traffic (because everyone was backed up behind the flashing lights). As I approached, it was hard not to notice the throng of tangled up cars turned every which way, all of the ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, etc. For about 1/4 of a mile behind the flashing lights, there were even more cars that were apparently caught up in the frey. And, the backed up traffic stretched for at least a mile behind THAT.
Probably some idiot yakking away on their cell phone (or, worse, text messaging) caused this, or maybe more than one; combined with other people going way too fast. A deadly mixture, indeed.
So, yeah; but for the grace of God, we could have been caught up in that nightmare; either hurt (or worse) at the very worst to simply being stuck in a traffic blockade that, from the looks of it, could well have lasted more than an hour while they cleared the road.
What IS it that kept us from being involved while others (likely most of the people involved were doing nothing but driving to their destination while listening to NPR or something) were caught up in it? If we'd left the house just a few minutes later, we might have been caught up in it; no, we WOULD have been (it was pretty obvious to me that the accident occurred not long after we passed through, given that the ambulances, fire trucks, etc. were already there by the time I was headed back home).
God, guardian angels, fate, luck; whatever you chose to believe, kept me and The Kid alive today. I'm thankful, yes indeed. However, this is also one of those things that you cannot dwell upon overly much; for, as with the unfortunate Mr. Bradford, at what point will the grace be gone?
Mrs. B


Mr. B said...

Yes, thankfully the two of you were not involved in that mess. TA

Mrs. B said...

Actually, the three of us, since Lucy was with us! I forgot to mention that!

Analee said...

something sort of related... ttoday on the way to your house i was feeling quite overwhelmed with sick + lack of sleep + cat + mommy + baby + toddler + wife + can't keep the house clean, etc. and the fray's song "in over my head" came on... and it made me kinda think that maybe i WAS in over my head! i got quite somber and i dare say a few tears jumped from my eyes...

I never knew
I never knew that everything was falling through
That everyone I knew was waiting on a queue
To turn and run when all I needed was the truth
But that's how it's got to be
It's coming down to nothing more than apathy
I'd rather run the other way than stay and see
The smoke and who's still standing when it clears
Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head

the next song, interesting enough since i was playing it for kendal the night before on the keyboard, was abba's "dancing queen"...

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life.
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen.

made me feel like maybe i could handle it all, i just needed to start dancing to the chaos!

my frown definitely turned upside down :)

i'd say that was one of those by the grace of God moments for me...

"shilt" what a scot has to do when he has to take a poop while wearing a kilt
(sorry if that was crude, i thought it was a funny word verification!)

Mrs. B said...

With everything you have going on in your life, Analee, and, in particular these past several days, it's no wonder you are feeling like you are in over you head. Not to mention, I bet you have some of those post pregnancy hormones still raging away. Not that I'm one to blame all moods on hormones (right, Mr. B?)

I know you know this, but, you are surrounded by people who love all of you and who are willing and able to help if need be, even if help just means "come over and talk with me while I run around doing all of this stuff I have to do". Or, come over and watch the baby so I can sleep for a few hours.

I'm a phone call away. Or text message (ha ha).

Anyway, I bet "someone" was sending you a message by arranging for "Dancing Queen" to be the next song. Trying to make you smile!

"Change your thoughts and you change your world". I try to remember that...I try to remember that a lot.

Mr. B said...

yes, Mrs. B.


Margot said...

Whew... Mrs B., The Kid, Lucy.

There's a certain amt. of luck plus a lot of paying attention & dealing w/oncoming catastrophe quickly that pushes most of us thru.

So sorry the A&D family is getting a tidal wave of issues right now. My best tho'ts are headed right for you, Analee.

As Ms. B. sez... you have a lot of people who love you & are ready to pitch in.