In America alone, over 143-million commuters are on the roads and highways every day. We try with the highest effort to focus and drive with safe practices.
Still, on average there are six million car crashes injuring three million Americans and killing tens of thousands.
Mr. Jimmy Howard of Georgia knows these risks, but still chose to spend his 40 hours a week for the past 43 years driving the dangerous roads.
Now in retirement, he’s praising God he never got in a single accident in all that time.
Jimmy Christopher Howard began driving for UPS in 1975.
His faithful service to the company involved constant attention to doing things with excellence and was motivated by his personal experience of God’s faithfulness to him in salvation.
Now, 43 years later, Howard has decided to turn in the keys.
Retirement will bring another adventure with extra time but the reality of this moment is significant beyond the long years UPS got to appreciate his service.
Given the added intensity of driving around Atlanta, Georgia, it’s truly miraculous that Mr. Howard was involved in zero accidents in 4+ decades on the road.
Atlanta is not known for easy driving. In fact, it is one of the largest, busiest, and most dangerous metro areas in the nation.
In an interview with Fox5, Howard doesn’t take credit, and explains it was “a lot of luck, but I think God’s been with me most of the way and great training from our management staff.”
Howard joined UPS at age 22. That’s not exactly an age known for excellent driving records. Yet he set out on his route doing the very best he could.
He soon became established on a pretty intense driving route that covered 525 miles every day, round trip, from Atlanta to Mississippi and back again. He stayed steady at the wheel with every intention of delivering the responsibilities entrusted to him.
Rokeia Gravely also serves at UPS. She was part of a special “thank you” send-off as Howard walked off the parking lot on his last day of employment.
Trucks all over blasted their horns — a very noisy and joyful moment for Howard.
Taking to Facebook, Ms. Gravely shared that this is “the salute you get after 43 years of service and a perfect driving record at UPS!”
Many people took the opportunity to add their congratulations and even gratefulness through comments on Gravely’s post.
Jimmy Howard’s wife, Tammy, was also excited to bless her husband for faithful service in the route of UPS but also their own marriage journey.
She is so happy to be celebrating this achievement with him. The next part of their journey may be quite different but she is confident in God and the “great record” of her husband’s actions that they will be fruitful in service together as they move forward.
Tammy invited people into their story via Facebook as well: “I am so very proud of you. I know it is a bitter sweet time … I know they are going to miss you. There will never be another driver quite like you I am sure. Time to celebrate the next stage of your life. You have earned it!!! I love you with all my heart.”
Many thanks to God for keeping Jimmy safe. Let us remember to be grateful for safety on the road, but also to hear this story as an encouragement to pay attention.