From the publisher's desk
By Keith Whitson
Handle With Care.
We see those words on so many boxes today. Even though we have been prewarned, lots of times it makes us want to shake the contents to see if whats inside is still intact or really as fragile as the wording claims.
Often we dont even take the wording as seriously as we should because we have seen it so often. I am afraid this is sometimes the case with life.
Last week I went to Nashville for the state press awards. Going down on Thursday, it rained nearly the entire trip. Often times, the windshield wipers could not adequately perform the task before them.
Eventually, traffic came to a complete stop on the interstate between Knoxville and Nashville. For over an hour, cars were parked on what had been a speedy connection from city to city.
It was a reminder to me of how fast things can also stop us in our tracks of life. We go at such a high rate of speed through this life, racing to get from point to point, where we anticipate things to get better. If we arent racing to get somewhere, we are racing to get back. But, for over an hour, I had nowhere I could go and could barely see my immediate surroundings through the heavy downpour of rain on the windshield.
Luckily for me, the awards event was not until the next day at noon. I am sure many people were delayed for things much more pressing and some may have even missed their purpose for travel altogether.
As I tried to wait patiently, I was reminded of my bigger journey in this life. Sometimes I have lost my direction. Sometimes I have taken wrong turns and caused my self much grief trying to get back on track.
There have been times that I too have been stranded, waiting for the view to become visible again and the way to clear for me to proceed ahead.
I have traveled too hurriedly through some of the most beautiful moments of my life because I thought I had to get somewhere else and did not realize the best was already around me.
Sometimes delays have been for my best, even though I couldnt realize it at the time.
As the traffic began to slowly crawl, it seemed as if the mishap ahead had gotten some better and would soon be revealed. Sometimes in life we see what stopped us and yet other times we just have to accept that whatever it was, it was for the best.
This turned out to be a tractor and trailer wreck. The guard rail had failed to catch the large truck, leaving fate to the trees beyond. Still, the truck was hanging over the side as three large tow trucks attempted to pull it back up. As I drove past, I wondered about the driver.
The traffic congestion started to spread out again but the rain continued coming down as heavily as ever. Looking to the left, I could see another truck on its side over on the East-bound lanes.
This truck had overturned in the median, landing on the drivers side. As I passed miles of backed up traffic, I wondered as well about the driver of that vehicle.
It was soon after, that I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed the vehicle behind me had begun to lose control. It shot across the interstate, missing traffic, heading straight for the trees along the side. With no ability to turn around, I was relieved to see that cars behind me were stopping. I continued on.
All I could do was pray for that driver, the ones before and those of us still attempting to get to our destinations. We were all at risk that day while traveling on a highway that we often take for granted. I am sure none of those drivers expected something to happen when they left home.
Last week my friend and co-worker Brenda Sparks sat with her sweet mom at the hospital after she had a heart attack. Please pray for Rosa Corn.
My cousin, Travis Chandler, had an issue where his heart had to be shocked back to life. He is in the hospital on a ventilator.
Friends at church shared prayer requests of illnesses and upcoming surgeries.
As I worked around the house Saturday, I heard a thud and looked to see a small bird on the ground from accidentally flying into the glass door.
I was once more reminded how fragile this journey is and how we shouldnt take any part of it for granted, whether it is the beauty or the danger. Lets remember to Handle With Care.