“Orange Flags”
on The Benefit of the Doubt




It’s been an interesting week. Lots of good and bad, and many opportunities to be more trusting and giving (especially when giving the benefit of the doubt).

I was almost run over by a truck on Thursday. No seriously.

Here in Utah, at crosswalks they have NEON orange flags to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the road and be seen. I was walking home from school and grabbed a flag to cross the street. Traffic stopped and many kind drivers let me start crossing. One truck, however, was in a bigger hurry than everyone else. I wish I were exaggerating what happened: He pulled out of his lane, into the oncoming traffic lane, to get around the car in front of him, and he drove straight at me. Thinking he didn’t see me, I waved my flag frantically, hoping to be seen. We made eye contact. He didn’t stop. I had to hurry myself out of his way to avoid serious injury.

Did the man want to kill me? Are all Utah drivers like this? Was he more concerned with getting somewhere fast than he was with another human life?

I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he has an astigmatism. Maybe his depth perception was off. Maybe he was rushing to help with some emergency and shouldn’t have been stopped on his way.

Maybe I needed to learn to cross the street a little faster.

Thursday night/Friday morning, I was startled by a bad dream where the person next to me had an acceptance letter to the Spanish Teaching Major program at BYU and I had a letter telling me that I hadn’t gotten into the program and that I would never be good enough to do so, so I should give up.

Prophecy? I sure hoped not. God telling me that Spanish Teaching is not the career I should pursue? Again, I sure hoped not.

I got an email later that day advising me that I had in deed been accepted to the program!

Do they really want me there, or is this some cruel joke? I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe I really am good enough for the program. Maybe it’s a blessing from God and He’s opening doors for me that I didn’t believe could be opened (and then I did believe, and then they opened).
Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. See them for the person they can become. Assume the best. It’s a little hard at first, but when I start to assume the best and just trust people based on their word, good and wonderful things start happening.