Driving home from a family get-together this morning I realized just how slick the snow had made the roads. I slowed down to keep control, but in front of me only a minute in time was a family that found that out too late. They’d spun around and flipped several times.
I came up on the accident first, just after it happened, and out of respect to the family I won’t write about the details of what followed. A little boy, 5 years old, passed away. A dad and mom and another little boy survived, and my request to any of you that read this is that you pray for them. For that mom to understand this was an accident, and for this dad to be able to be there for his family, to be strong for them, and to have the courage to forgive himself so that he can support them as a father and a husband.
As the first officer pulled up to the scene, another car sailed past me and slammed right into him. We realized right away that none of the oncoming traffic could see what was unfolding, because we were just over a hill. It was just before 9 am rush. We began running towards the traffic, waving down cars and semi-trailers, as they fishtailed and regained control right in front of us. It felt like we ran almost a half mile before we finally got everyone stopped.
I’m not sure yet how to sort it all out. I don’t know why God had me there, but I know there was a reason. I was supposed to go with my family to breakfast, and instead at the last second decided to come home to open the shop and let the dog out. My cell phone was completely dead, and my wife’s phone had gotten wet and wasn’t working, and just as I got on the interstate I had a feeling that something just wasn’t right.
We hear of accidents and tragedies, and we’re saddened, but we move right on. Seeing this little boy go home, calling his name and hoping for a response in that stillness made me feel very undeserving of my time here on this Earth. For him to have lived such a short little life…I instantly stood face to face with how fleeting our time here really is.
We are only a breath away from eternity. Only a heartbeat from our frailty. We are not invincible. We do not have all the time. There’s not next Christmas to make things right. There’s not even today. Do you understand that? There is only right now. Here. This moment. There is you, and there is a decision that you have to make about your eternity. And if you don’t make that decision, it will still be made for you.
Stop when you read this, will you? Close your eyes and think about what you might wish you could change if you were to pass away today. Really take a moment out of your busy agenda. Work will be there tomorrow, so will your to-do list and the groceries, the bill, whatever. Let them go for just a minute, and think of what your end might look like.
Are their loose ends? Tie them up. Does someone need to hear you say you’re sorry? Get in touch with them or stand with them toe to toe and apologize. Does a relationship need to be restored? Begin today by humbling your heart, and open up your arms. Is there someone that will wish they could have heard you say ‘I love you, everyday, no matter what, with all my heart’? Get up and go speak those words from your heart, wherever that may lead you.
Now take all those questions, and put them between two people. Just between you and Jesus.
What do you need to do?
You may not have tomorrow, and someday is never going to come.
This family was just like you and me. On their way home, and one son is already, truly home now. He is surrounded with peace and love and comfort in his Father’s arms, and you’ve been extended that same opportunity.