Listening To the Whispers

About a week ago, I received an email from a friend that asked me to watch an iTunes warning about tires. The warning said that tires that were many years old were being sold as new. The tires have never been used, but they sat on the shelves for years and the rubber degraded. The video showed a trained driver suffering from a blowout caused by the degradation of the rubber and not the tread. It was scary to watch.

I sent the email to my friends so they too could be warned. The video showed how to read the life of your tire. It is not an easy read. You must crawl under your car or have it put up on a lift. Then the manufactures get tricky with the numbers, so you must know the system.

* * *

The big Tahoe flew sideways across one lane without warning. My left hand flew to my friends arm as he wrestled to keep the truck right-side up, and not run into anyone. I saw my hand on his arm and took it off. The road felt like a roller coaster in disrepair. The car was strong armed to the side of the road and others stayed clear. I sat for a moment as I waited for my heart to stop racing. Then we looked at each other and sat in silence.

The first words out of my mouth, “Good Job”! I am so glad that I wasn’t driving. I am grateful that he knows how to stay calm in a real crisis. I am grateful that others were paying attention and didn’t get hurt.

As we both recovered enough to get out of the car and look at the tire, we were awed. The tire wasn’t flat, it looked as if a small bomb had been explode from inside the tire. Pieces of rubber where scattered like shrapnel. The smell of burning rubber filled our noses and made my knees shake. I sat down.

We called for help. As we waited we talked about the “whisper,” the warning we had received just a few days before. No, we had not taken the time to heed the warning. We had meant to. We might even have gotten around to it when we “had the time.”

The warning had been clear. It had come in plenty of time for us to check the age of the tires on our vehicles. We didn’t listen to ‘whispers” that the universe was sending. I know better. I know to pay attention and listen, even when messages come in faint whispers like an “alert” email. Not listening this time could have cost us our lives.

Whispers are not always so clear, but they are always important. Today, as my knees stop shaking, I recommit to pay attention to the “whispers” before they become shouts.