I could see cars slowing down and moving to the right about a mile ahead of me. I slowed down a bit and took stock of what vehicles were around me. Then I tried to both drive where I was and keep track of what was happening down the road. More cars were slowing and moving to the right. But nobody was stopping. When they got past whatever was causing the problem, they resumed normal driving.
It also looked like the problem was moving, almost like there was a slow vehicle driving right down the middle between the two lanes. Strange. Now I was really wary. The traffic was relatively heavy, so one wrong move by someone and we could have a pile up. I slowed a bit more and moved as far to the right as I could while staying in my lane.
The car ahead of me was now the only thing between me and the problem. That car moved to the right to reveal … an emu running down the center line at an amazing clip!
Now that was unexpected. You might think that a missionary would not be shocked by such a thing, and you would be right, except that I was somewhere north of Roseburg, Oregon on Interstate 5.
We humans need to put things in categories to understand the world and live in it. So the category “Oregon” caused me to exclude the possibility that the problem was an emu. At the same time, those categories often lead us to wrong expectations. Sometimes the result is humor. Other times we put people in negative categories they do not deserve, hurt them and make bigots of ourselves.