Photos courtesy of Silverstone Auctions

Spinning Car

July 1991

Spinning Out of Control

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 the kerb for several yards. It then stopped after losing its momentum, and I found myself an inch away from an iron gate that I could easily have crashed into. I was in a state of shock. I was trying to gather my thoughts on 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 then 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 hurried on.

Broken Down

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, and saw that 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 - a screw was missing from the rocker cover, causing a slight opening, through which oil poured out under the pressure of the engine running. It must have been the car mechanic apprentice who neglected to put back one of the screws on the rocker cover. This mistake could have cost me my life and/or someone else's life on the road.

An Introspection

As I pondered on the whole incident, I realised that as my car spun on and off the kerb:

      • I did not hit any pedestrians that could have been walking on the pavement;

      • I did not spin into the opposite side of the road onto oncoming traffic (as the other cars behind me did);

      • I did not spin into any cars behind or in front of me;

      • I did not hit any lamp posts on the kerb;

      • I did not hit anybody's walls or gates (through I did stop an 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 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.

A Revelatory Vision

A picture suddenly came into my mind (what most would call a "vision"). I saw several angels 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 knew in my heart that it was God who had sent His angels to rescue me. A scripture also came to mind:

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.

I repented to God for my attitude towards Him, for ignoring Him all these years. 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 could ever realise or respect. This story is to written to glorify Him and to thank Him with all my heart.

© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.