This is a guest post from Chris Thomas. She shares whatever happens to find its way out of her addled brain over at Light Green. Inspired by friends, family, faith and public transportation, you never know what little nugget of wisdom you might step in.

I didn’t get my driver’s license until my mid-20’s. I lived in the city. I just didn’t have the need, or the means, to own a car and all the responsibility that came along with it. So when I did decide to get one, I had to sign up for behind-the-wheel lessons at Sears Driving School, or some such place. This was at a time when my life looked pretty close to a season of “Cops”. My instructor was a guy named Curt, who was probably 10 years older than me. He picked me up everyday for a couple of weeks to go driving. We ended up having lots of interesting conversations, and occasionally ended our sessions having a Coke and fries from the McDonald’s drive-thru. I’m sure it was obvious to him that I was some kind of mess.

Part of my lesson was learning the IPDE system of defensive driving – Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute. It was very funny to us for some reason, I suppose because he was obligated to teach it with some faux authority. After I had successfully passed the driving test, he dropped me off for the last time. Sitting outside my house, he said, “You know, I think the IPDE system might be valuable for you to keep in mind, even when you’re OUT of the car.” And then he added, a little hesitantly, “And, uh, I think you might like to know Jesus at some point, too…you know, just in case.” I laughed uncomfortably, feeling pretty creeped out that my cool new friend had all of a sudden turned on me, and that was that.

Since then, I’ve had many, many adventures on the open road. IPDE pops into my mind quite often and still makes me laugh, now with the knowledge that Jesus has been there all along. It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it? How our lives weave together, even briefly, for the glory of God.

Photo courtesy of TurboPhoto.


2 Replies to “IPDE”

  1. Chris, I love your story. The dialogue you share–between you and Curt, when he dropped you off–is a gem. It’s so believable–I love how he was hesitant and you were creeped out. Human beings are so wonderfully complex–and funny. I’m glad you can think about Jesus and think about Curt and laugh. In a lot of ways, this “road” of faith is hard, but sometimes, it’s just so good to laugh. God pulls together some crazy stunts, for sure.

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