No, this post is not arguing in favor for evolution. The inspiration for this post does not come from any church meditations from today. Rather, I could say that the source of today’s write comes from between my two shoulder blades. The ache and knotted muscles are a still-present reminder of the accident that happened Friday a week ago. Some of my readers will be familiar with the details but for those curious readers who have not heard, I will relate in brief.
One of the students from Faith Builders had invited the guys to his place in Canada for a pre-semester party. The plan was to go to Ottawa and tour the city. In anticipation, 5 of us traveled to Kitchener on Thursday. Friday morning came early and we were on the move. Also on the move was a massive snowstorm. It wasn’t too bad or so we thought and we never gave a thought to the idea of turning around and giving up on the trip. The roads kept getting worse the further we went. Seven hours after we had left, we were a hour or so away from Ottawa near the town of Brockville. Coming up on an accident scene, we were slowing down when a semi slid past us, pushing a pickup truck. We could have reached out and touched him. Relieved it hadn’t hit us, the driver accelerated to move out around the accident. I was sitting in the back seat and the thought went through my mind that this could have touched off a chain reaction. Glancing back, I saw another semi jackknifing straight towards us. I threw myself down and before I had time to yell a warning, the semi had hit us, pushing us forward and into the median. The back window shattered as did the window on the passengers side of the van. Like all accidents, it happened in a moment.
Fortunately, no one was severely hurt. We all walked away. But it got me to thinking. In the past seven years, this vehicle was the 4th one I’ve been riding in that was totaled due to an accident and that I’ve walked away from. One big difference was that in this one I was sitting in the back seat. In the previous three, I was sitting in the front. Maybe that is why, after this accident, the feeling of “having escaped” or “being spared for a future purpose” wasn’t as strong as it was in the previous accidents. Whatever. The fact remains that I’m alive today to write this. For that, I’m deeply grateful. So, walk with me and I’ll take you back over my last three accidents.
The back where most of the damage was done. I still can’t believe that I and Matt, the other guy in the backseat, didn’t receive a single glass related injury, not even a scratch.
Really, in comparison to the next two, this looks mild.
This accident happened in Paraguay. The brief tale behind this carnage is that I lost brakes and came upon an intersection. The light was red and I rear ended a dump truck. I was by myself and in the moments prior to the impact, I distinctly remember thinking that I could favor the passenger side. So I did. If someone would have been with me, I cringe to think at how this accident could have turned out. Definitely much worse.
In my mind, the bus ride home from this accident was one of the longest I’ve spent in my entire life. I was by myself but in times like these, you need a second person. Someone to talk to, someone to cry with, someone to vent your frustrations to, just someone to be there. Their presence alone makes the situation better and I had no one. It was on that bus ride that I again felt the assurance that my time wasn’t done and that my life still has purpose.
It’s a pity this accident happened. This was one of the better trucks I have driven.
This next one happened about 5 years ago, minus one month. A friend of mine and I were returning from Arkansas, having attended a Bible school. I was in the passenger seat and was sleeping. He dozed off as well, went left of center, and hit that Sebring convertible that is in the ditch to the right in the first picture. Here again there was Divine protection. If we would have hit a pickup, chances are great that one of us wouldn’t be alive today. Our car was a Sebring sedan and the car absorbed most of the shock.
My first memory of this accident was the impact and seeing the airbag in my face. But later in the hospital, I wrestled with feeling rejected. I should have been grateful to have been alive. Instead, I was asking God why He hadn’t finished the job and took me home in that accident. The feeling of having been thrown onto Heaven’s doorstep and finding the door locked was very real. I have never longed to go Home like I have during those hours by myself in that Ft. Wayne hospital. But, tonight, I sit here at my study desk, typing out this post and not feeling a single pain from this accident. Of all the ones I was involved in, I would say that this was the worst. Below are some pictures.
I was sitting in this passenger seat. Looking at this picture, I still wonder how I could have “escaped?”
What has come through in all of these accidents? It’s not trite to say that God isn’t done with my life. It’s not a pat answer to say that it wasn’t my time to go. Those are true. But at times I lose that sense. I focus on other things and on people. The last accident in Ottawa got my attention. I’m here and I’m His. Saying that, I mean that there are battles to fight, people to reach out to, love to spread, and the Gospel to be preached to those who haven’t heard it. The question is, is that our focus? God uses accidents as wake up calls but trust me, those are expensive.