My Deer in the Headlights Story

Usually when someone talks about a deer in the headlights, it is with some humor, such as when some hapless guy’s girl friend or wife asks him about his feelings.  He then has this “deer in the headlights” look as if he doesn’t know what she is talking about.  But sometimes a deer in the headlights can be a very serious matter.

On March 12, 2016, I drove to Rison for a night meeting, then returned home.  Rison is about an hour and half south of Little Rock, and is an area that is almost all pine forest.  It was a rainy day and coming home at night the rain just absorbed the light from my headlights.  I was on a two lane highway, driving through the forest.

In the meeting I had just attended, someone mentioned that Rison and Cleveland County were known across the state for deer hunting and the number of deer that are killed each year.  As I was driving along in the dark night, the thought occurred to me that if a deer jumped out in front of me, I would not be able to see it until it was too late.  So I slowed down a little, from 65 to 55 miles an hour.

Less than a minute later, the largest doe I have ever seen crossed right in front of my car from left to right.  It happened in just a second, and I didn’t see it until it was on the highway, passing in front of my car.  It was so close, I was really surprised that I did not hit it.

I slowed way down and pondered my near accident.   A car traveling 65 miles an hour would traverse a football field in about 3 seconds.  Do you think a 300 pound deer hitting my windshield would break the windshield?  Yes, I think it would.

We have a body, soul, and spirit, and it is our spirit that has the capacity to connect with and hear from the Holy Spirit.  I understand that often the Holy Spirit will plant ideas into our minds, which we can even recognize as coming from the Lord.  I believe the Holy Spirit nudged me to slow down on that dark highway, even a little bit, and enough for me to miss hitting a large doe. 

So seeking to know the Lord and hear His voice is not only a great adventure, it can also save our lives.

Mark Peterson