Don’t forget to watch where you’re going


A few years ago, we gave our oldest grandson a Christmas present. We always give all our children and grands gifts at Christmas. We thought this particular gift was appropriate and would provide hours of entertainment and enjoyment. We watched him play with it in the school parking lot across the street from our house on Christmas day and thought we had purchased an item for the occasion that was “just right.” We warned Allen that his toy was an outdoors toy, NOT an inside toy. We assumed everything was good.

Recently, we were sharing a bite to eat and a bit of conversation with the Nash kids near their home, in Petersburg, Virginia. Somehow, the conversation shifted from Virginia to West Virginia, from hockey to old Christmas presents, and we learned “the rest of the story” about the drone we had given Allen for Christmas.

Allen asked if we remembered what had happened to the drone when the family returned to Welch, West Virginia, where they lived at the time. Neither of us remembered. We surely were hearing the story for the first time. How could we have possibly forgotten this story?

Turns out the drone had hit a car while Allen was flying it (the drone, not the car) in his back yard. Not just any car. A police car. The beautiful house where they had lived in Welch was right around the corner from the police station. Their back yard was just across an alley from the back of the station.

Most of the yards in Welch are fairly small, and none are completely level. For Welch, the Nash’s back yard was as close to level and as spacious as any. It seemed there was plenty of room for navigating a toy drone. The problem was the power lines that ran across the alley.

 As it flew through the air, remotely controlled by our grandson, the drone met an obstacle - the power line - and the power line won. The small toy aircraft immediately came crashing to the ground. Well, it would have hit the ground, had the police car not been there. So instead of the ground, it struck the windshield of the police car. Imagine the terror in the heart of a 12-or-13-year-old boy, when he realized what had happened...his father was employed by the federal prison system...and the officer was in the vehicle.

Allen will never forget that experience - neither will his grandparents, having finally heard the rest of the story. Hopefully, he also learned a couple of lasting lessons from the final flight of his remote-controlled toy.

 First of all, always watch where you’re going and avoid obstacles. Sometimes when we are soaring through the air, enjoying ourselves, having what seems like totally innocent fun, something totally unseen and beyond our control gets in the way. Therefore, we must control the things that we can and accept the consequences of those things that are beyond our control.

Most importantly, recognize and appreciate grace. The officer could have been very harsh and unforgiving of Allen’s mistake but instead he stepped from the car and, displaying complete forgiveness, pointed out that no harm was done. He calmly encouraged Allen to be more careful, reminded him that it could have caused damage, joked about the situation, and told him to have a nice day.       

How many times have you and I really messed up, in something much more serious than the drone thing, and God has extended Grace and Forgiveness to us? When He does, be sure to recognize it and give thanks.                  

-Steve Playl may be reached by email.      


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here