I was recovering from the surgery quite nicely. I had spent only one night in the hospital, which was a good thing because they kept poking me for this test and that and I was convinced I would be out of blood were I to stay another day.
It wasn’t but a day after being home in bed that I became as bored as I can remember ever being. So I took out my laptop and began working. It is a fine advantage of our technological era that one can log on from home and work almost as if I was there in the office. And my efforts to stay on top of my responsibilities may have seemed in some way mildly heroic to my coworkers, I will confess here and now it was more to stave off boredom than anything.
The nature of my surgery meant I had to be catheterized for at least two weeks, maybe three. I counted myself fortunate, then, that I had a surgeon who believed in removing the catheter as soon as possible. So two weeks and a couple days after surgery I went in and the catheter was removed. Nothing, I discovered, will make you feel more normal than being without a catheter after such a period of time. The doctor examined me and cleared me to return to work, but only for half days until the following week.
I was never so happy to return to work in all my life. And that Thursday morning off I went. My coworkers greeted me warmly and I dove into my work with a renewed gusto. But, mindful of the doctor’s orders, I dutifully went back home after half a day was complete.
The next morning I was back in the office feeling even better than the day before. And once again, I obeyed doctor’s orders and left after half a day. But I was feeling better than the day before. It was a gorgeous, sunshiny summer day and as I drove home I marveled at how good I felt. I thought about the beauty of nature and the things I would attempt to do over the weekend. I was feeling mighty good and I was making plans….
And then it happened……WHAM!!!!!!
Just like that, in the blink of an eye, a dump truck flashed into my peripheral vision and not a second later, an awful crunch, and I was spinning, and I remember wondering if I was going to flip over. Was this the end? And then I was stopped. What just happened?
My first thought was I need to get out of this car. I tried the door but it would not open. Unlatching my seatbelt I climbed, NASCAR style, out the driver’s side window. And there was a crowd around me. Even in the immediate, post-accident fog I was in, I remember being amazed that there were so many people. This incident occurring, as it had, between Norwood-Young America and New Germany, an area sparsely populated at best.
I was in shock and the exact sequence of events following the accident are still a bit of a blurr in my mind’s eye. I was up and around, not seriously injured, and I remember looking back at the car and thinking it didn’t look too badly damaged. I was hustled away in an ambulance to be checked out by the emergency room staff, but after my release later that evening I was taken to the impound lot where my car was being stored. I cannot describe the shock I felt as I gazed upon what was left of my car.
Sure, it didn’t look that bad from the driver’s side, where I had been immediately following the accident, but the passenger side, where the truck actually hit, was destroyed. Had any passengers been riding with me, they surely would have been killed. It became instantly apparent to me that I had survived only by the narrowest of margins.
And here in lies the point of me telling you this story. One instant I was feeling good and planning my weekend, the next I was spinning around wondering if I might die. Had you been riding with me, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. And so it is with our lives, that things can change much faster and more suddenly than most of us care to imagine.
Psalm 39:4 says: “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” My cancer and my subsequent accident have taught me the value of considering the brevity of life and how quickly things can change. There is a real temptation, when it comes to our relationship with God, to always assume we have another day…or another hour. The fact is, we may not even have another minute.
Are you prepared to meet your maker? If you are not sure, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help you find the assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
I’ll leave you with a few pictures to help you understand just how close I came that day in 2009. And may God bless you and keep you from ever experiencing this for yourself.
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