Move the rock

It was a dark and starless night as I rounded the bend on that remote stretch of road. My eyes were tired after a long day at work, and I was zoning out on the drive home. The back road from Livermore to Tracy cuts through rocky hills with tight twists and turns along the way. Suddenly my headlights illuminated a football-sized object sitting right in the middle of the road. I swerved to the right to miss it, but caught enough of a glance to see that it was a large rock.

After the adrenaline surge subsided, I deduced that the rock must have broken loose from the hillside, bounced and rolled out onto the road. Good thing I missed it. I picked up speed again. My wife had to work late, it was my turn to feed the dogs and I wanted to get home as soon as possible.

But the rock in the road would not let go of me.

I started to think about the next driver to come around that bend. Maybe it would be a young mother reaching for a dropped pacifier; or a teenager fiddling with the radio; or another bleary-eyed commuter like me.  I was five minutes further down the road, when the voice in my head said “Move the rock.”

My poor dogs are waiting for dinner.

“Move the rock.”

I am tired and impatient to get home.

“Move the rock.”

Turning around and going back will cost me an extra 10 minutes.

“Move the rock.”

You can probably guess where this headed. I turned around and drove back to the bend in the road, parked my car in a safe spot and turned on my flashers. My headlights lit up the rock as I hustled out to pick it up. And just before I heaved it over into the ditch, I swear… it smiled at me.

This story is not about personal heroics. I just moved a stupid rock and have no idea if that small act made a difference to anyone. I’m sharing it as a challenge to you… for the next time you notice something potentially dangerous to others. It could be a simple road hazard, a friend who’s struggling with addiction or someone making an angry threat against another.

 The easy thing to do is drive on down the road, hoping the authorities will catch it or possibly another Good Samaritan will happen by. OR you can turn around, revisit the scene and try to do something about it. I’m not suggesting that you put yourself in personal danger. But if there IS something you can do about it… why miss the opportunity to move the rock?

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5 Comments on “Move the rock”

  1. alicia Says:

    I love reading your stories with a point. I related to this one. I almost always ‘move the rock’ and know that it might make the difference. Thank you David!

  2. Jeff Bagby Says:

    Don’t you just love that voice? I am so glad that you can hear it.

  3. Tom Rosten Says:

    Dave-

    Of course you moved the rock. You heard from your soul. Tha spark of llife that is bresthed within when w are borne. Thatinner gudance will carry eachof us throughsome dangerous events. It always seems to provide the right advice.

    And by moving the rock, you may have served the lord’s purpose and sasved a fellow human from death or severe injury. You will never know, nor will the erson who didn’thit the rock know thathis pathway was made safe by the voice within.

    Tom

  4. Judie Says:

    What I wonder most about are all those who speak as though you’re crazy for ‘moving the rock’ and laugh at the idea of someone actually ramming it.
    Thank you for sharing this…maybe some will actually see things differently after reading about your veering past the obstacle ahead of you,then… actually ‘stewing over’ the “what ifs” scenarios only to find the strength to return to Right what could have gone Terribly Wrong for another. Really glad I’m on your side and will always remember this article when I’m ‘there’ and know I’m not alone, nor wrong in my decision. Blessings and Peace


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