Spinning Car

July 1991

It was a fine sunny Monday in July 1991. I was driving back to University after a weekend at my parents. I would have normally driven back on a Sunday, but my car had broken down. It was fortunately fixed by a friend of a friend (who was a car mechanic apprentice) in time for me to make it to my Monday lectures. I was happily driving along my normal route, it was early enough still to miss the early morning rush hour traffic.

All of a sudden, I found myself spinning out of control. My car decided, all by itself, to spin on and off, on and off the kerb for several yards. It then stopped after losing its momentum and I found myself 1 inch away from an iron gate that I could have easily crashed into. I was in a state of shock. I was trying to gather my thoughts to what just happened. The car behind me stopped, the driver got out to check if I was OK. After a brief check on myself, I said, "Yes", I was still nicely strapped in by my seat belt. I had not hurt myself in any way. The driver went back to his car and courteously signaled for me to continue to go on before him. As he did so, the cars behind him began to spin also, they veered off to the opposite side of the road crashing into oncoming cars. It was chaotic, sounds of spinning and crashing were happening everywhere. The driver behind me urged me to go on urgently as he began to be desperate to get away from the chaotic scene. He didn't want anyone crashing into him. So I went on hurriedly.

It was a mere 10 mins later that I began to see smoke coming out of my bonnet. I knew my car was in trouble. I managed to stop on a grass verge by the side of the road, where black smoke increasingly bellowed. I opened my bonnet - what a mess it was! Oil had leaked out everywhere! It seemed that the oil had gone onto my front wheels which had caused my car to spin earlier. I had to call the AA to have my car towed to a garage. The garage later told me the cause of the oil leak - it was because one screw was missing from the rocker cover. Hence the rocker cover was not properly closed, causing the oil to pour out under the pressure of the engine running. Well, it was that car mechanic apprentice that must have overlooked the one critical screw on the rocker cover. This mistake of his could have cost me my life or someone else's life for that matter.

As I pondered on the whole incident, I realized I was extremely lucky that as my car spun on and off the kerb:

  • I had not hit any pedestrians that could have been walking on the pavement;
  • I had not spun into the opposite side of the road onto oncoming traffic (as other cars behind me did);
  • I had not spun into any cars behind or in front of me;
  • I had not hit any lamp posts on the kerb;
  • I had not hit anybody's walls or gates (I did stop 1 inch from an iron gate)

Was I just lucky, or was I blessed?

I had not thought about God in years. I had been ignoring Him because life seemed easier that way, but this incident made me think about Him. So often when we experience an incident that may have cost our lives, it makes us think about our lives, and about God, and how He fits into all this. I knew I had been ignoring God, so I began to say, "God, you must be angry with me for ignoring you all these years!". Then to my surprise a gentle answer came into my heart, saying that God was not angry, He still loves me very much, but He was hurt and disappointed that I had ignored Him all these years. 

I knew in my heart that it was Him who came to rescue me that day when my car spun. Then a picture came to my mind - a picture of God sending several of His angels - who were frantically cushioning my car as it spun out of control. It was them that was directing the path of my car as it spun, so that it would not crash into anyone or anything.

I repented to God for my attitude towards Him, for ignoring Him for years - and I thanked Him for loving me still, loving me enough that He would still care to rescue me. He has enormous love and patience for us - much more than we often realise or respect. 

Psalm 91:11-12

11 For he will command his angels concerning you 

   to guard you in all your ways; 

12 they will lift you up in their hands, 

   so that you will not strike your foot against a stone