Last week I was blessed to be able to cross paths with Eli. Eli may never remember me, but that’s alright with me because for the rest of my days, I will remember him. Somewhere between 8 and 10 years old, Eli had just survived a car accident when I happened across him. The first image that I had of the young boy, was the image of Eli’s father applying pressure to the side of Eli’s head to stop the bleeding from a wound on the side of his face. The wound was caused by flying glass from the window that broke when someone decided to run a red light and ran right into the car that Eli was riding in.

Kate and I were returning home from lunch and just happened to pass through the intersection of Elk Avenue and Highway 81 in Duncan right after the accident had apparently occurred. When we drove through the intersection, we could see into the mini-van where Eli’s father was desperately trying to comfort his son. Eli’s mother was outside of the vehicle presumably calling authorities. The car that hit them was nowhere in sight.

We pulled over to the side of the road and Kate dialed 911 while I stepped out of the car to see what kind of help we could offer. By the time that I arrived, other concerned citizens had stopped as well, one of whom identified herself as a nurse. While she stepped in to relieve Eli’s worried father, I began to visit with Eli and his family to try to help calm the anxiety that was beginning to set in.

Eventually the authorities arrived and began to do what they do best. I returned to my car and my day, assured that Eli and his family would be fine, because God had also arrived and was well at work doing what God does best.

Have you ever thought that the rules don’t apply to you? Have you ever told yourself that breaking this one rule, this one time, isn’t a big deal? As I drove away that day, I began to wonder at the tragedy and turmoil that could have been prevented for Eli and his parents, had that one person…on that one day…simply chosen to follow the rules; to wait for the red light to change to green.

I am truly thankful for the people who followed God’s nudge and pulled over to help that day. Though it may be ignorant, I pray for the day to come when no one will have to pull over and help someone else because of the irresponsibility of another.

If you want to make a difference in someone’s life this year, then choose to follow the rules even when you believe them to be ridiculous. If you do, then you may never know how much pain and suffering was not experienced because of you. How wonderful would that be?

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