It was a rainy midday when we came up on a wreck on the opposite side of the highway. It apparently just happened since no emergency crews were on the scene but a crowd was trying to help and the first police car was coming in right behind us. As we examined the scene I saw an image that will probably be burned onto my memory. A truck was on its side and the lifeless driver was pinned under the wreckage.
Not long before he was driving down this same road and probably thinking of plans for the day or the weekend. A routine drive on an average day like so many days before. Yet, he did not know he was living the final moments of his life. A rapid set of actions and reactions then a life was finished.
I immediately began to think of, and pray for, the family, friends, and co-workers whose lives would soon be dramatically interrupted with horrible news and some that would be altered permanently. Did children just lose their father? Did a wife just lose her husband? Were parents living who would be crushed by the news that their son’s life was cut short? What of the other people in the accident? Were there other fatalities or people who will wrestle with involvement in this unfortunate event? And then the final question: was he ready to meet God?
As I reflected on what I saw passing by this incredible life drama, I thought of several things:
- I love my wife, kids, family, and friends so much and cannot take time with them for granted for I do not know when it will be abruptly ended for me or them. I must tell and show my love today.
- I need to be ready to meet God at any time. Jesus may come on an average unremarkable day or I may depart on such a day long before I have gray hair and many years behind me.
- I need to help others to be ready to meet God. Their time may be shorter than either of us realize.
- Live and plan with an attitude of “if the Lord wills” (James 4:15). Life is but a vapor that arises and vanished rapidly.
- Driving needs one’s full attention. This was a clear reminder that the stakes can be very high (whether these drivers were inattentive or not). Buckle up, leave the phone alone, and focus on the road. My young friends especially, don’t be overconfident in your abilities. The phrase “overcome by events” describes consequences that you must face when the events are taken out of your control. Attention will allow you to minimize the opportunities for events to overtake you.
- I really appreciate the emergency crews who daily come upon these scenes to provide help to their fellow man.
When you wake up in the morning you do not know if you will go to bed that night. When you get into the car you do not know if you will be taken out of the car. Be careful and prayerful. Be faithful and ready to meet the Lord at any time.
UPDATE: The news has reported that it was actually a woman that passed away in this accident. Change the gender references if you wish but the sentiment is still the same. Tragic loss of a young life that should not only arouse our sympathy for the ones left behind but cause us to reflect on the frailty of our own life. -RFD