As I have mentioned in a previous blog driving rules in Chiang Mai are left to each man or woman’s interpretation. You learn very quickly to be on the defensive expecting the unexpected at all times. The cars travel way above to posted speed limit and if you are driving a mere 20KM above what is posted you are likely to get run off the road. This is all unsettling but what concerns me the most are the motorcycles and scooters. They are the Thai people’s primary means of transportation and they go places an do things that make this westerner cringe.
Being that a scooter is some families only means of transportation you will see entire families riding together. A toddler will ride standing between a father’s legs on the foot platform and the mother will riding behind her husband cradling a tiny infant. It STRESSES ME OUT, however, this is all normal to them.
I can remember riding with Kevin on his motorcycle. I needed to run up to the store to pick up a prescription and I agreed to go on the bike. Now I had cleverly avoided riding with Kevin before this because we only had one adult helmet. We had purchased a youth helmet for the boys but alas, being that I could not wear it, I was always left out of the fun (Aren’t I sneaky!). Anyway, Kevin managed to put on the boys helmet so off we went.
We started out and I fully expected to travel through our neighborhood to our destination but Kevin had other plans. We ended up on a major street with cars whizzing past. All I could think was, “If I fall off this thing I’m dead!” Needless to say I made sure we went home a different route.
As I watch these Thai families with their little ones in tow I am amazed at how calm they look. What astounds me even more is that often I see the little ones fast asleep! Just this morning as I saw a toddler asleep cradled between his father’s legs I thought, “How on earth can they sleep when they are in such a precarious situation!” Almost immediately I was reminded of Jesus asleep in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples had wondered the exact same question, “How can He sleep at a time like this. Doesn’t He know we could die at any moment!” When they woke Jesus up He rebuked them for their lack of faith and calmed the sea.
I can’t blame the disciples for their fear. I face it every day. Right now I have two sick kids. In the states I wouldn’t have worried at about it, but now in a foreign country, I find myself worrying about what strange diseases they may have contracted.
My fear is a lack of trust in my father’s care for me and my family. He brought us here and nothing will come into our lives that has not first gone through His hand. The toddler can sleep between his father’s legs even when cars are rushing past. My father is the Sovereign God of the Universe. Surely I can rest in His arms.