I grew up knowing I had to fight my own battles. It was more than a conviction. It was a belief that I had to fight and defend myself alone. While I had allies, I knew I could not depend on them to stand with me.
The defining moment in this belief emerged during a road incident while heading towards the Oregon coast. There were three of us in the car, all guys. The afternoon drive had, up until the incident been something you would imagine with three university age boys masquerading as men. The conversation light, thinking low, everything seemed possible and probable.
I saw the pick-up truck blip in my review mirror. A few minutes later, I glanced in my mirror filled with flat black paint and a Ford pick-up grill. I had no idea where he had come from. The isolated road through the Oregon forest had no entry points for miles.
Seconds later, with barely enough room, he jumped into the opposite lane to pass. For his safety and mine, I slowed down enough to let him cut back in. Even then, he almost clipped my left front fender.
Our chatter was all about the pick-up. We were angry, frustrated, and feeling like we had been put down. Sadly, calm heads left the car. We wanted with passion, emotion, and words flying everywhere. Before I knew it I had swerved out and around the pick-up forcing the truck to stop on the road.
“Are you with me?”
I jumped out of the car and ran forward. A taller, heavier, and meaner man stepped out. I realized my friends were still in the car, watching with interest. Seconds later, I stumbled back, glasses broken, blood on my face. I knew I had to fight my battles.
Life reminds me that I cannot fight battles alone and win. David reminds me that Divinity will help; “He rescued me from enemy anger, he pulled me from the grip of upstarts, He saved me from the bullies.” (Psalm 18.48)
A wingman is God’s gift.