Have you ever fell into a trance or serious day dream while driving and snapped out of it a mile or two down the road and then wondered how you managed to stay on the road without crashing? I know I have. Maybe I’m the only one? I’ll snap back into reality and my presence there in the car and wonder in amazement how I managed to stay in my lane when my mind clearly wasn’t on the road. I was in an entirely different place mentally and yet somehow my body still maintained control of the car. Yet we are taught that our minds control the movement of our bodies, so how is this possible?
Throughout my life, I feel as though I should have died behind the wheel at least a hundred times. Looking back on it, it’s disgusting and scary. How many people didn’t get the chances that I got. Driving home night after night in a complete alcohol fueled blackout. Waking up in my house, or my car or someone else’s house not remembering how I even got there. Driving in a full heroin nod, or shooting cocaine and heroin while driving up the highway. Then there was methadone. In spite of the craziness listed above, my methadone drives were by far the biggest miracle behind the wheel.
I was on methadone for a little over a year, an extremely high dose, as well as prescribed benzo’s. For the second half of my methadone treatment I had been on a state run program in downtown Bel Air, MD. From my house in Abingdon, there was a quicker back way to the clinic that consisted of a few miles of long winding backroads through the forest. Every morning I would nod out behind the wheel on the way to the methadone clinic on these backroads In a full blackout, and I would snap out of it miles down the road amazed that I was still on the road and not in a ditch somewhere. It was completely mind-boggling how I stayed alive. I jeopardized my life and other people’s lives every single day. Other people aren’t nearly that lucky. I was amazed back then in my fog of drug use and numbness, but am even moreso amazed now that I can look back at those times of insanity with clarity of mind.
There are two ways to explain away those types of instances in our lives. There is science, and then there is God. Science will tell us that somehow our instincts took over and our body, which is remotely controlled by our mind, went into a form of autopilot while our mind went on a potty break. The other argument is that God took over the wheel. Both sound crazy, right? According to the physical laws of the world as we know it the entire situation seems unbelievable, yet I’ve seen these miracles at work hundreds if not thousands of times in my life. Sure maybe my mind left and my body went into autopilot, but who put it there. If my body takes orders from my mind, then who was giving my body orders while my mind was on vacation?
I tend to believe in God AND science and rather then pitting them against each other, I’m able to see how they work together congruently. If there is a God, then he did in fact create science, so why would they ever be at odds? I tend to be a man of common sense AND a man of faith. There are some things that just cannot be explained by only one or the other. Half of my life of active addiction falls into this category of the unexplained.
Much like the famous poem “Footprints in the sand”, where there were two tracks of footprints in the sand walking along the beach to signify where God had walked with a man throughout his life, there were times where there were only one set of footprints. The man turned to God and said “there’s only one set of footprints here, why did you abandon me?”, and God replied “I didn’t, that’s where I carried you.”
Those times behind the wheel are just one instance of me being carried by my God. There are some things that just cannot be explained away, this is where we need faith to understand that there is a power greater than ourselves at work. When we finally get clean we pay our respects to that power, we owe that power our life, and we serve that power. That power represents life, love, and everything good in this world. Those of us who were spared were spared for a reason: to be lighthouses that reflect the light that brought us safely to shore, and to do the same for all those others lost at sea.