Lessons From A Curve In the Road
There is this stretch of road near my house that I have been driving on for most of my life. Over the past thirty years, I've driven that stretch of road countless times. But yesterday when I drove it, I did so with a sense of sadness and loss. You see, there was an accident on that road yesterday--an accident that took someone's life.
Two cars collided somehow on a curve in the road, and one of the cars ended up in the marsh on the edge of the lake. The person in that car drowned before emergency rescuers could reach them.
When I drove past the site of the accident yesterday, just hours after it happened, I could see the skid marks in the road, and the gouges in the mud near the lake where the car must have been, and where a wrecker probably removed it from the muck. "Someone died here today." I said to myself. "Right here."
I thought about all of the times I drove that road, thinking about other things: what I would have for dinner, chores I had to do when I got home, meetings I would have when I got to work... And even farther back in time, when I was a teen, and I would wonder where Merideth and I would go on our date that night, what movie we would see, when I might get a chance to kiss her.
The person who died on that road yesterday had no idea when they went into that turn that those moments would be their last. Maybe they were making plans. Thinking the mundane thoughts that you think when you feel like you are going to live forever.
The book of James warns us to make the most of our time, and to constantly be aware of how brief and tenuous our time here on earth really is.
"Some of you say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year and do business, and make money.' But you don't know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away. So you should say, 'If the Lord wants, we will do this or that.'" (James 4:13-14)
The lesson that James was teaching was a simple one: Don't take your life for granted. You have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow. It could all turn on a dime, for all you know. Instead, live into the hope of the Lord, trusting in Him to sustain you, keep you, cover you in grace and peace despite what comes your way.
May you live today to the very fullest, giving thanks to God for the gift of life, and the joy of living. May you make your plans in humility, knowing that they could change at any moment. May you find serenity in the thought that your loving Father knows your story, and is present with you throughout it--come what may.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.