This last weekend I was fortunate, and honored, to return to a church I pastored in the 1990s. I was looking forward to getting there, as my wife and I drove from Atlanta to Tampa. Rain had hit us in driving sheets for several hours as I we drove south through Georgia. Finally, in the southern-most Georgia region the rains stopped, but the dark clouds hung like a wet blanket accompanied by an oppressive humidity.
But we still looked forward to getting with friends from years back and laughing, hugging, and reflecting.
It was as we approached the Bruce B. Downs interchange in north Tampa that Cheryl shrieked, gasped and covered her mouth in shock looking at the oncoming traffic on the other side of the highways median. Hurtling through the air was a car, flipping over and over, hitting the ground…only to bounce high into the air again, to once again crash to the ground and roll…before coming to rest upside down.
Shocked, we realized we were witnessing a tragic accident and we needed to act quickly. Cheryl grabbed the phone and called 9-1-1. I pulled our car over and dashed across the interstate to do whatever I could. Being the second person arriving at the upside down vehicle, I checked for gas leaks while two other men removed the door window and felt for a pulse on a young woman, who just moments earlier had probably been enjoying life on her way to some pre-planned activity, or to see friends or family, or to a meeting or engagement…who knows? But, suddenly–and tragically–life had taken a tragic and unexpected turn. Without moving her, one of the men with obvious training for emergencies made sure she had a pulse and could breathe, even though she was unconscious. And shortly…though it seemed an eternity…the emergency vehicles were there. The police and emergency technicians took over and I got in our car with Cheryl…and we drove on with heavy hearts. Wondering, “Whose daughter was she? Was she married? Who was in her family?” …and praying that God would be with her, and with the medical personnel who would ultimately care for her at the hospital.
And we were soberly reminded how quickly life can change and be altered… unexpectedly…how very precious every moment is…and how valuable each day with those we love and care about is. We would learn several days later that the young lady tragically died. Our hearts ached for her family and friends who experienced such a tragic, premature end to life.
So today, be sure and tell someone you love and care about how special they are to you!
Take time to tell someone close to you what you admire most in their life!
Tell someone who has made an impact on you that they have done so, and how, and what
it means to you!
Thank God for the gift of life and commit to savor it and enjoy it to the best of your ability!
After all, we have no guarantee of tomorrow.
And in view of that, if life suddenly ended for you today…or tomorrow…have you come to the place in your spiritual journey that you know FOR SURE what would happen with you? That’s what the message of the Bible is all about!