It is called a lunch hour, but it feels more like a lunch flash to me. About the time I get my food, it is time to get up and go. For me, rush hour starts at noon!

During a recent dash to beat the lunch bunch, I fire-rocketed out the front door and merged my way onto the Interstate in hopes of beating a friend to the appetizers. I am confident I was in the lead until I started smelling smoke.

I thought to myself, could it be? The one time I was going to be the first to arrive, I would lose due to mechanical failure! Then I realized; it’s not me! No, it’s the crazy lady in the Volkswagen Beetle. Her car is on fire! Flames are shooting out from under her hood. She doesn’t seem too worried, so why should I? Besides, I only have an hour. If I maintain my current pace, I will be first in line! But what if she doesn’t realize the car is on fire? What if the Beetle blows up like a time bomb?

I had to do something. I stomped my foot on the accelerator, rolled down my window and began screaming and pointing at her car like a wild man. She responded with a look of total fear. At first I thought I had succeeded. But instead of acknowledging me, she sped up! Then it dawned on me. She thinks I am a road-raging idiot.

Because she was travelling so fast, the vehicle looked more like a dragster than a Love Bug. Flames were blowing by with no finish line in sight. Thankfully, she finally pulled over. But much to my amazement, she froze behind the steering wheel.

I rushed over, swung open the car door and yanked her from the vehicle. She immediately collapsed in shock not realizing the car was in flames until now. She undoubtedly thought she had a flat tire, but never dreamed her car was on the verge of exploding.

I can only imagine what onlookers must have thought as they saw a bald white man dragging an African American woman down the highway. I cared little about perceptions. I was just grateful she had escaped unharmed.

A friendly truck driver fought to get the fire under control as firefighters arrived on the scene. I held the woman in my arms as they fought to save her car. Despite their best efforts, the vehicle was a total loss.

I was late for my lunch appointment, but had the best of excuses. As I shared the excitement with my friend, I was reminded of the role we play as believers. Each day, we have opportunities to snatch people from the fires of Hell. But all too often, we hurry down life’s highway ignoring the flames that shoot from their lives. We may beat the rush, but ultimately, we lose thousands of people, who unless forewarned, will continue fearlessly toward the flames.

Slow us down Lord. Pull us from the fast lane. Teach us the real meaning of rush hour. As II Corinthians 6:2 says, “… now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”

The world is going up in blazes as we sip iced tea and feed our frantic faces.