On Tuesday of this week, I sat on a five-mile section of the “Ike“, or Interstate 290 running westward from the Chicago loop, for over an hour.

My traveling companions and I were returning home from an amazing journey God provided, traveling to Concord, North Carolina for my She Speaks writers conference.

We had traveled more than 2000 miles already and sat in the car for nearly eight hours that day, so being only a couple hours from home we were eager to get there.

The GPS told us we were to be expected home at 6:36pm and we knew we were traveling through Chicago at the wrong time; rush hour, so when we approached a sea of brake lights we weren’t shocked.  We were shocked however by the amount of cars and how long the back up was taking.

Now, I lived in the Twin Cities and commuted every day during rush hour traffic and knew what to expect, but this traffic was at a dead stop.  We were literally at a snail’s pace…going nowhere fast.

Thankfully we had decided to stop just before getting on I-290 to top off the gas tank.  We had a bit less than half a tank and figured we would be fine but we knew the time we would be traveling into Chicago so we didn’t want to take any chances.

Typically we fill up, have a quick memorial and cleansing service for those sacrificed upon our windshield and head on our way.  But this time we were delayed a bit longer than usual while we used the restroom and purchased a soda and Twizzlers.

Darn, had we not stopped at all…maybe we would’ve missed this whole jam!

About 40 minutes into our wait, only a few miles covered and most of the Twizzlers gone, we heard sirens behind us.  “Oh gees!”  I said.  Just the thought of having to maneuver through this mess was appalling.  The emergency vehicles blared their horns, much to the chagrin of the poor gal in the open convertible next to us, and waited for cars to move and then continued through.

I immediately wished we had a flashy light and loud horn to help us through this maze too!!

We watched as the expected arrival time on the GPS got later and later.

We inched forward and nearly an hour into our wait, we noticed flashing lights up ahead.  “Oh, of course! There must have been an accident” we said noticing that the emergency vehicles were blocking the two right lanes.  Oh gees, now we have to try to get over?  Great.  Four lanes of Chicago traffic squishing into two, with wonderfully gracious and patient Chicago drivers..

Mmm-hmm, no wonder there was a backup!

As we approached the cause of the backup a hush filled the car.


July 24, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — A man was killed in a traffic accident near Woodfield Mall on I-290 just south of the Higgins Road exit Tuesday afternoon.

State police say a car crashed into semi-truck in the northbound lanes and ended up underneath the truck.

There was a five-mile backup on the interstate.

(Copyright ©2012 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
What if we hadn’t stopped at that last gas station?
What if we hadn’t been delayed in the store?
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”   Romans 8:28