When I was six years old, I made a sport of racing (dodging) with cars on foot. It was my little sport, the thing I would do instead of cross at the crosswalk on the way to school. I was fast, and I knew it. In my own mind, the object of the game was to simply beat the car to the spot I needed to cross in the road, no matter how fast the car was going.
Sure, it was completely stupid I admit when I check myself out in hindsight, but hey…I did it. I would never instruct any child to do the same. How I would do it is measure the speed of the cars, and then I would dart out in front of them, playing a deadly game all alone, just to reach the other side of the road. I was nuts. That game I kept up until one winter, icy day, I was at the edge of the sidewalk. I noticed the ice but shrugged it off in my mind saying, “I won’t slip.”
The cars were going slower because of the weather, and when I saw my chance, I took it. My little body slammed against the street…not because of the ice either. A car hit me…the car that I didn’t see. My knees hit the concrete hard, and the back of my head felt the metal front of the car. Then, it stopped. A woman on the other side of the road caught my eyes as I sat there in front of the car. She was panicked. I looked down. I was alive. I stood up and walked away from the car. I didn’t even see the person who hit me. My knee was in awful pain, but I didn’t even cry. I was too terrified to cry. I continued on to school with my hurt knee, and never told my mother about the incident until I was near grown and safe from punishment. Until this day, she doesn’t believe me.
Stupid risk right? Well, let me flip it on you because sometimes those dumb risks taken early on in life will be needed much later.
I was in the seventh grade, and right after dropping my little brother off at the bus stop, I made my way to my school. As I walked, I felt something was off. It must have been God telling me I was in danger because I felt I heard what I know as His voice tell me to look to my left but don’t turn all the way around, just glance. When I did, I saw him. It was a German man who had come out from behind the large dumpster, and he was two or three arm lengths from grabbing me.
I sped up my gait. There was a busy street right in front of me, and I was willing to bet the man wasn’t going to be able to do what I know how to do and had been doing since I was six. I turned onto the sidewalk, and he turned. It was obvious that he wasn’t supposed to be on the military base at all. He was closing in on me, and just as I looked up at the window where I lived, my mom wasn’t watching. I had to race the cars once again. He was too close, and I’d already started pacing the speed of the cars in my mind. I saw the military van dropping off the soldiers down the road, and I jumped. I was in the street, just like I was at six years old, racing the cars, dodging them as they drove around me. I made it across, and immediately, I turned around to see him struggling to jump in between the moving vehicles just like me. He couldn’t do it. Then, he stared me right in my eyes before I turned and ran into the crowd of uniformed soldiers. I turned back around, and he’d stopped walking forward. From there, I made my way to school safe and sound, appreciating God given instinct, and even that risk that I’d taken racing and dodging cars when I was only six years old. I needed that skill even though some people, now and then, would have called me a fool. I want to think even God knew I would need to “race cars on foot” later.
I told this story of my life to relay the message I got from it when I look back:
Sometimes you have to get knocked down to the ground before you can figure out how to maneuver your way through life safely/wisely and stand back up after taking a big hit in your career. Learn from mistakes and pitfalls. Don’t give up, and let no one steal you away from your great destiny.
And remember, even though it may seem like the right place to be, it’s not always safe on the SIDEWALK. Sometimes, it will save your own life by stepping off of what is supposed to be the safe zone and take a risk, all the while knowing that God is, has always been and will continue watching over you.
I had no idea that my own life’s circumstances would end up teaching me something like this, but it has. Each time I was in danger, God allowed me to get back up (when I was hit by a car), and when I was literally steps from being kidnapped (or having my destiny stolen from me), He allowed me to step out into terrible risk to save my life by doing something I did when I was young and dumb. It wasn’t so dumb after all.
I’ve learned that risk and reward move together at times. Playing it safe is great, but at certain times, it would have gotten me potentially killed anyway. Therefore, if I feel I need to get off the safe sidewalk in my life or career, you’ll find me dodging traffic…making my life move forward, dodging obstacles and trusting that GOD will see me through. It worked out for my good. I love Him.
You should, too. :-)
It happened in 1984. Her mom was gone, and she was left all alone in the house for only a few minutes. This was when her life changed, and everyone outside the home heard her screams. This was the life of innocent Katy Rose.