Construction work on the road ways can be a pain in the rear. Delays in traffic, one lane roads that are usually two lanes, rough road conditions, other drivers who develop road rage and reduced speed limits. I’m sure there is more but you get the idea.
You can understand the frustration of trying to be on time to an appointment when you approach the first sign. Road work ahead speeding fines doubled. Then, one lane traffic ahead. Road work one thousand feet ahead. Road work five hundred feet ahead.
My thoughts were of Hope. Maybe the weather is too chilly today for them to be operating outside. Maybe they will wait until late hours of the night in order to eliminate any delays for local traffic. Well, turns out all of those thoughts were wishful thinking. I realized this as I approached the older gentleman holding the stop sign at the top of the hill.
He must have been freezing. The wind was blowing hard enough to take Aunt Peggy’s hair piece for a complete one eighty. The long hair would be in the front resembling “Cousin It” from the popular Addams Family series.
To make matters worse, the line of cars from either direction hadn’t moved an inch in what seemed like eternity. Being a dad, a husband and a prideful male, I decided to exit my vehicle in order to offer my thoughts and maybe a solution for the stall in the process of the construction.
The flagman was decked out in my favorite college teams’ apparel. A crimson and white hoodie seemed to be the perfect fit with a faded baseball cap decorated with a script “A” centered on the front. He beamed with pride when I greeted him with a firm hand shake and a “Roll Tide.” Is there any other way to greet a fellow southerner?
He began to explain there had been some mechanical issues with the heavy machinery and that traffic would be detoured due to the only mechanic that could operate on this type of rig in the surrounding area was coming from nearly an hour away.
There was something different about this guy. He seemed way too excited to be standing in the middle of the highway on a day that temperatures weren’t expected to make it above freezing. We talked about coaching turnover for the University of Alabama and how Nick Saban is one of the greatest college coaches in Alabama History.
His take on today’s athletes is they wouldn’t make it a day if they experienced the torment from his day and time. Come to find out, he had played for Bear Bryant in the seventies for a brief stint. He was a highly recruited fullback out of high school that loved the night life more than football. A frat brother introduced him to a white powder that made him feel like he was walking in outer space. He never finished his freshman year before the local authorities had booked him several times for possession and distribution of a controlled substance.
Luckily the judge was an Alabama alumnus and didn’t throw him completely under the bus. After he completed a ninety-dayrehabilitation program, he headed back to South Alabama to get a job in hopes that he could work his way back on the field.
Work was hard to come by for a convicted felon and to add fuel to the fire his high school sweetheart had just blessed him with his first-born baby girl. When life looked like it might get the best of him, he hit his knees for guidance from the Lord above.
An old man took a chance on a kid with a record and offered him a job on his crew working with heavy machinery. On the first day of work the gentleman offered to buy him lunch and to feed him and his small family supper if they came to the local Baptist church on that Wednesday night.
At this point, he didn’t know where the next meal was coming from. At the bottom, looking for any glimmer of hope, the Lord sent an angel dressed in work clothes driving a diesel truck.
Today a spirit sent from above holding a stop sign gives reason to a prideful, undeserving Christian like me. A Christian that needs constant heavy machinery from above to keep the surface smooth.