Posted by: Diane | January 25, 2013

Life Lessons From a Tractor Trailer

It’s been four days since Danae’s car accident. Reality has hit and, understandably, she is concerned about all the unknowns.  “When will I feel better?  How will I finance a new car?  When can I work again?  How do I deal with insurance?”

Danae and I talked on the phone this morning and she was expressing great frustration, so I listened patiently for a while and then tried to offer some input. To make a long story short, our conversation didn’t move in the right direction. Call it a mother-daughter thing.

We were both upset but I had a meeting that I needed to attend so we ended the call, I got in the car, and started driving.

For many years, I have known that God speaks to me through life applications from day-to-day circumstances and today was no different.

As I was driving along the two lane highway, wet from melted snow and salt, I found myself behind one of those 53 foot tractor trailers and because of the weather conditions, my windshield was continually being sprayed with salty, sandy, dirty filth clouding up behind the tractor trailer. I had two choices – I could try to pass this guy in his big truck or I could fall back, drive slowly and be more patient. Both options would result in less grime on my windshield. I soon realized that the healthiest, wisest, and safest decision would be to get some distance between the truck and my car. I knew that the situation wouldn’t last forever – it would change with time –  and I just needed to be patient.

I immediately thought of how I handled the phone conversation with Danae. Perhaps I charged ahead  in the phonecall so that I wouldn’t be sprayed with her grime (all her questions and her messy circumstances).  Perhaps I offered answers to questions that she didn’t ask. Perhaps she just needed to vent and what I needed to do was just fall back, get some distance, and be patient.

The life lessons didn’t stop there.

Eventually, I had to make a left turn at a major intersection, the kind with two left turn lanes. I had caught up with the truck and he was in the right-hand lane of the two left-turn lanes (Am I losing you?). I was approaching in the leftmost lane. His left-turn indicator was on but I wasn’t sure whether to move up in my lane beside him or to stay behind him to give him some space.

This is the thing –  I don’t know what it’s like to drive and maneuver such a large truck (“This vehicle makes wide turns“) even though this intersection was quite large and probably designed for truck traffic. I opted to just give the driver some room and space to make the turn his way, in his time.

Ugh!  Once again, I thought of Danae.  I don’t understand the trauma of being in a car accident because it’s never happened to me. I needed to just give her space and time to make her turn in the way that she needed to.

It’s a bit ironic that my daughter has learned and continues to learn some life lessons through the tragedy of her car accident earlier this week, and it took my being in my car to learn some myself!


  1. Good insights, Diane.

  2. I hadn’t read your post from yesterday until now – excellent analogies and I need to look for these more for myself in my daily adventures as I’m sure the Lord is wanting to get my attention perhaps more than I will allow… Woke up this morning wondering how you girls were doing so your post answers the questions at hand. Mother daughter maybe or the trauma to both after a devastating car accident to the one.

    It must surely be another beautiful day there on the eastern shores of Lake Simcoe. Have a good one! JL

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