Two seconds quicker and I would be dead right now.
The light had been red. So I sat, waiting, as I do at that intersection several times most days.
When red turned to green, for some reason — I have no idea why — I hesitated for just an instant. Something I seldom do. Seems that I’m almost always in a hurry.
Then, just as I started to hit the accelerator and buzz on through the empty intersection, a monster dump truck at least twice as tall as my RAV4 ran the opposite-direction red light. It came barreling through the intersection as if the light was not even there.
If I had hit the gas as I usually do, that monster truck would have T-boned my car on the driver’s side. But for that two seconds delay, I’d be dead right now.
Yes, I know. All of us are that close to death all the time, whether we’re young or old. If you doubt it, ask the folks who were bowing before the Lord that Sunday morning in Sutherland Springs’ First Baptist Church. Here one minute, dead the next.
Those of us who have managed to hang around on this planet as long as I have are increasingly aware of death’s proximity. Hardly a day passes when we don’t hear the news of another relative entering hospice care or another classmate whose days have ended. Death is part of our daily diet.
But I don’t sit around every day worrying about dying. Do you?
I have far too much to do yet. So much of life still delights me. So many people still bless me. I still have places I want to go, sights I dream of seeing. Heaven will be glorious, I know, but, please, Lord, not quite yet.
A dear family friend in her late 90s was literally on her knees saying her bedtime prayers. Her visiting daughter heard her tell God how eager she was to see her oldest son whom she had just buried and her long-dead but still much-loved husband.
“I’m ready to be with them,” this sweet lady prayed. “But,” she quickly added, “not tonight!”
She was like the apostle Paul. He wrote that going “to be with the Lord” was “far better” than staying here on earth. But he said he was glad to hang around a while longer because God had important tasks for him to do.
Why is the Lord keeping you here? Does he know some person you alone can rescue or encourage?
He must have something else for me to do. If not, why did I survive that dump truck?
Gene Shelburne may be addressed at 2310 Anna St., Amarillo, TX 79106-4717 or at GeneShel@aol.com. Get his books or magazines at www.annastreetchurch.com. His column appears weekly.