I was inspired to do this one by the most recent episode of the Mysterious Universe Podcast. I’m a subscriber to their PLUS feed (it’s awesome, do it!), so I’m not sure if it was on a regular episode or a Plus episode. A few episodes back, they were discussing whether or not guardian angels exist. During the segment, they read a story from a woman who swore she felt someone shove her while crossing the street, but when she turned around, no one was there. A split second later, a car sped through the intersection she was crossing and she would’ve been hit had she not felt the phantom shove. Listeners wrote in sharing their own similar stories. When I saw this topic in the book, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about.
“What can happen in a second.”
I know that a lot can happen in a second. After all, it only takes a second for us to say “yes” or “no” on a decision that could change our entire lives. It only takes a second to decide to run a red light or give away a secret with our eyes or even take a last breath. I Tweeted about this particular incident back when it happened late last October, but it still shakes me up when I think about it and it’s all because of a second’s hesitation.
I was going for a walk last fall. I have several “regular” routes and most of them have me crossing a road, though not always a busy road. On this particular day, I was walking along, minding my own business, when I came to an intersection that is only moderately busy between, say, 5-6 p.m. because it’s a back route to the highway. It was probably about 5:30 p.m. at this point. I waited until the light was red to begin to cross the street. As I was about to cross, I felt my phone buzz, like I had gotten a text message. If I remember correctly, I had actually been waiting for a response to a snarky comment I had sent to Kolkie, so I paused for a moment to check my phone to see if it was from him. Phantom vibration. Just as I looked back up to cross, some guy in a car ran the red light. He was probably trying to beat it while it was still yellow & rather than breaking just went for it. The car barreled right past where I would’ve been walking had I not stopped to check my phone. The surprise and fear must’ve registered in my face as a pissed off look because he merely waved to me, as though to thank me for letting him have the right of way.
I really think that had I not stopped to check my phone, I would’ve been hit by the car. It all happened so quickly, that from me feeling the vibration to stopping to look at the front screen of my iPhone for a notification to the car running the light couldn’t have been more than 5 seconds total. That one second that I decided to look at my phone before crossing the street saved my life. I could’ve taken the opportunity to cross as soon as the light turned red and checked my phone 15 seconds later after I was on the other side, but I didn’t. My stomach still churns when I think about it. So that’s what can happen in a second.
I’m sure everyone interrupted this topic differently than I did, so please feel free to share your answer to “What can happen in a second” in the comments section. Thanks! I love reading everyone else’s response to these topics…