A Rough Ride
July 2012

“A Rough Ride,” New Era, July 2012, 38–39

A Rough Ride

girl on bicycle

Illustration by Dilleen Marsh

I wish I had listened to the warnings of the Spirit.

Another day of school had ended. It was September of my freshman year of high school. I made my way to the rack where I had locked my bike when I arrived at school that day.

As I walked toward my bike, I decided I would take my favorite path home along the top of a hill and down to where my house was located. The thrill of riding down a steep hill with the wind blowing through my hair and past my face was a stress reliever. I could just glide to the bottom of the hill without slowing down because there wasn’t a stop sign until the road leveled out.

I removed my bike from its chain and began to ride away from the high school. I had to ride only a block before I reached the street that would take me along the ridge of the hill. As I neared the intersection where I intended to turn, I felt an urge not to. I shrugged the feeling off, and I told myself that I was being silly. The strange feeling subsided after I made the turn, so I figured I was just being indecisive.

I neared another intersection that would provide an alternate route to my house. Again I experienced the same feeling not to proceed, only stronger. I felt pulled toward a zigzagging side street but didn’t want to take the extra time getting home. Once more, I shrugged off the feeling.

I reached the next street and turned to ride down the hill. I descended the hill, not touching my bike’s brakes at all to achieve a good speed. As I neared one of the cross streets toward the bottom of the hill, a car pulled away from the curb on the opposite side of the street and turned in front of my bicycle. He hadn’t even seen me coming. In one horrible moment, I realized why I had experienced those strange feelings. The Holy Ghost had been trying to warn me that I was in danger if I traveled the path I had chosen. I was now in immediate danger, and there was no escape.

The driver of the car now noticed me barreling down the street and managed to stop his car before the impact. At the same time, I was squeezing my brakes trying to slow down as much as I could before I crashed. I started to brace myself for the collision when a feeling came over me and caused me to relax.

My bicycle hit the car on its right front tire. I flew forward off the bike, and the left side of my face hit the windshield. My body did a somersault, and I landed sitting cross-legged on the roof of the car. My bicycle landed 20 feet behind the car.

The driver immediately got out of his car, helped me down, and called an ambulance. I remember blood dripping from my nose while I lay there on the pavement.

It didn’t take long for a crowd to gather around the scene of the accident. A family friend recognized me and sat down on the pavement to talk to me until police and paramedics arrived. She was amazed that I was laughing and talking normally.

My parents came to the hospital shortly after I arrived in the ambulance. After the doctors cleaned my face and took some X-rays, I was ready to go home—scratched, bruised, and sore.

As I discussed the entire episode with my parents, I realized how much I had learned that day. Despite my foolishness, my Heavenly Father did not desert me. I also learned the Holy Ghost’s promptings are adapted to the demands of the situation. It was because of my stubbornness and doubts that I failed to recognize those promptings for what they were.

I have a testimony that Heavenly Father continues to love us and help us. I pray every day I will be able to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost so I may know of my Heavenly Father’s guidance and help in my life.