Close Call

This morning I had a brush with death. I had a moment where I was minutes away from meeting my creator, but experience kicked in and I was spared. Let me tell you the story.

The freeways in California have never been what I would call safe. The speed of the cars around you can range from five below the speed limit to twenty over at any given moment, and this is considered typical. You have the lane huggers who pick a lane and stay there and then you have the NASCAR racers who weave in and around cars as if there is a trophy waiting for them. Between my house and my school I have to cover about four miles of four lane freeway.

When I drive to school I usually stay in the far right lane, and stay with the slower moving traffic like the semi trucks and campers. However, their speed limit is ten below the speed limit of everyone else by law, so I will pass them from time to time. Nothing exciting or extravagant, just a lane change long enough to pass and then back to the slow lane. I don’t need a driving trophy; I just need to get to school on time.

Today I found myself running a little behind schedule due to lots of “just a minutes” from my daughter when dropping her off. When I found myself caught behind a semi truck in the slow lane, I decided to pass. After checking, I changed lanes. That’s when I saw the proverbial “Mr. Wheeler” coming up fast behind me. To get out of his way as quickly as possibly I edged up my speed to 70. The sooner I could pass this semi and get back to my slow lane, the better.

Seventy turned out to not be fast enough, Mr. Wheeler quickly changed lanes. It was obvious that he had a trophy waiting for him somewhere. He edged in onto the bumper of the SUV in his lane, and decided to get in front of me. This wouldn’t have been a problem if his gas cap hadn’t lined up with my front tire. There simply wasn’t room for what he wanted, but he was going anyway. 

It was only through God’s grace that I was able to hit the brakes in time to slow enough for him to get through. If he had hit me I would have been knocked under the trailer, and into the rear tires of the truck next to me. There is no certainty that I would have been killed, but I haven’t heard a lot of stories about Chevy Cavaliers that get run over by trucks and the driver walking away.

After Mr. Wheeler speed on to his next near miss, I sat behind the wheel of my car with my heart racing. I contemplated what nearly happened and the consequences of what a few seconds of hesitation would have cost me. I was thankful that I had kissed my daughter, that I had smiled at her, and told her I loved her this morning. I was glad I took the time to make her pancakes when I felt so rushed and wanted to give her cereal. I was glad that I had taken time to brush out her hair for her, and listen to her stories in the car rather than the radio. It could have been my last chance to hear about the tree house she wanted, or all the babies she was going to have someday.

I considered that there was no way I could have known this morning when I woke up that it would have been my last day. There was no way I could have known that Mr. Wheeler would be driving down the freeway at the same time I was. There was no way I could have turned the clock back to make those pancakes for a child I love more dearly than anything else.

Then it struck me that there was one regret that I wouldn’t have. I wouldn’t have had to stand before my savior and explain to him why I had denied him. I wouldn’t have to look at Jesus with regret, because I love him. I woke up this morning a saved Christian with a certainty of life everlasting with God in heaven.

Then I thought of my neighbors. I wondered if one of them were going to wake up this morning, make pancakes and then run into Mr. Wheeler on the freeway. Would they be ready when he hit them into a semi truck? Would they have already handled the most important part of their life? Would they be standing in front of their creator with regret? When I considered this, I was both thankful for my salvation, and frightened for the people I love who have not prayed the prayer of salvation.

If you are one of those people who are waiting for the right moment can you be sure that you have more time? If you are one of those people waiting for more proof or a more convincing argument are you sure that Mr. Wheeler isn’t waiting for you on your way to work today? If you are saved, is there someone you know that isn’t? Do you really have the time to wait to talk to them about Jesus Christ and his grace?

Can I really put off writing about Jesus and the love He has shown me? Can I keep the story of how He has worked in my life to myself? Do I have the time to wait to share of my tribulations and triumphs? Can I afford to keep the promise of salvation to myself?