Date: February 13, 2018 03:15PM
Some years ago, the kids and I were returning from a Def Leppard concert in a nearby city. It was late at night and the kids were fast asleep. I still had two hours of driving ahead of me when we were surprised by quite the snowstorm.
As the visibility on the road deteriorated, I was reminded of a story I had read years earlier. The story had appeared in an LDS publication, probably The Ensign. It might have been a transcription of a General Conference address, but these decades later, the name of the speaker or writer has long since escaped me.
The author of the piece related a story that likewise involved driving in a snowstorm, and was, if I recall correctly, intended to be taken as an actual event. As he drove, the intensity of the storm increased and visibility suffered, and the narrator started to be concerned for his safety. As luck would have it, he came upon a large truck travelling in the same direction, and decided to follow closely in its wake. The truck driver, the author reasoned, had a higher vantage point and consequently had a clearer view of the road ahead. The author further reasoned that as long as he could see the lights of the truck he would be safe. He didn’t need a clear view of the road, he needed only a clear view of the lights, because the superior vantage of the truck driver was sufficient to ensure the authors safety.
Although on the face of it, the event was rather prosaic, the narrator recognized that he could draw a faith promoting analogy from his experience. The truck, he suggested, was analogous to the Savior. No matter how the figurative storms swirl around us, the Lord can see the road ahead. So long as we keep our eyes fixed toward Him, we will pass safely through any storm. Simple. Clear. Faith promoting. It was a great analogy by any standard.
When I read this, it struck me for two reasons. I was a missionary at the time, and sincerely believed that the LDS church was the Lord’s one and only. The analogy impressed upon me the need to bring others to the gospel so they could keep their eyes towards the Church, and by extension, towards the Lord. But it also stuck with me as piece of solid practical advice. If ever I were to find myself on the highway in a snowstorm, I could remember to tuck in behind a big ol’ semi.
And now here I was driving my kids home in a snowstorm. As you might have guessed, we were shortly passed by a big truck. I saw the opportunity to put the advice from years earlier into practice.
I gathered enough speed to slip us into his wake. And none too soon as it happens. As I got close enough to guarantee that I could maintain a view of his lights, the snow swirled around me with ever greater intensity, and my visibility deteriorated significantly. How lucky I was to be close enough to the truck, I thought to myself, as the snow was now so thick that I could no longer see the road ahead at all.
After following the lights of the truck for a few minutes, it occurred to me that I didn’t really know if the truck driver had a clearer view of the road than I did. If the driver did not actually have a clearer view than I had, it was entirely possible that if the truck went off the road, it would draw me and my family into the ditch along with it. And because of the swirling snow, if the truck came to a fork in the road, I would follow the lights of the truck onto whichever path the driver took, whether it was the right path or not, and I wouldn’t even realize that I had veered from my course.
So I decided to pull back a little. As I did so, I realized that storm had not coincidentally become more severe at just the time I started to follow the truck. The swirling snow causing my inability to see the road ahead had been kicked up by the truck I had been following. The reason that I could not see the road ahead was because I was following the lights of the truck.
Having let the truck get away from me, I made an effort to follow fence posts, reflectors, road edges, and signs. It was difficult, but without the blinding cloud of snow from the truck, I was able to follow the road that brought my family safely home.
also published here:https://unexaminedfaith.blogspot.com/2018/02/snowblind.html