Mysterious Ways: The Siren

She prayed for help in overcoming her dangerous habit of driving too fast.

woman driving car

That afternoon I got caught up in work, and had to rush from home to make it to campus in time to teach my health sciences classes. I was so intent on getting there, I wasn’t conscious of how fast I was going. Then I heard that unmistakable police siren behind me. I glanced at the speedometer. Yep, a speeding ticket was definitely in my future.  I confess—I can have a heavy right foot when I’m behind the wheel. My dad always worried about the dangers of driving.

“Honey, I worry about you on the road so much,” he said.

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To emphasize his point, he even gave me a roadside emergency device to use if anything ever happened. “I get it, Dad,” I told him.

I had tried everything to break my habit. Leaving early for appointments. Frequently checking the speedometer. Nothing worked. One morning during my quiet time, I asked God to send me a sign whenever I drove too fast. “A gentle reminder,” I prayed.

Now I slowed down and angled toward the curb. One hand on the wheel, I reached toward my purse, propped on the passenger seat. The officer will want to see my driver’s license, I thought, rummaging for my wallet.

I stopped and peeked in the rearview mirror. There were no red and blue flashing lights. I  looked out the back window. Not a police car in sight. Finally I rolled my window down and leaned out. No cop on a motorcycle in my blind spot, either. But the siren still wailed. Where was it coming from?

Turning on the road leading to campus, I was careful to remain below the speed limit. What if a police car was lying in wait somewhere? The siren continued to blare.

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When I pulled into the university parking lot, students flocked to my car. “You have a policeman trapped in there?” asked one, pointing to my trunk.

I popped the trunk open. Then I saw it: the roadside emergency device Dad had given me. It was coated in battery acid, corroded. I picked it up carefully.

Almost immediately, the siren sputtered and died. Message delivered, I thought.

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