Have you ever had a really close call? Something that after it happened you were literally thanking God for how grateful you are that the result swung in your favor? That mere milliseconds or inches could have been the difference between you thanking God and your life being forever mutilated in the most unimaginable way?
This has happened to me before. And very recently it happened to one of the few people I hold absolutely dearest to my heart.
Receiving a text message from this person telling me a story of what had just nearly happened to them made my heart sink in potential agony and my hands reach to the sky in gratitude merely seconds apart.
What they told me was that they almost hit someone running on the side of the road. Had they not looked up at the very moment they did to change the direction of the vehicle, they would have killed that unassuming person on the side of the road. All over a simple everyday text message, a very non-deserving person could be in the ground right now buried with their hopes and dreams. Handfuls of people could be mourning the loss of the person they care about most in this world. This person so dear to me could be in prison for a very long time, loads of us who hold them so dear to our heart could be experiencing our worst nightmare, and this person’s life could be turned completely upside down.
You see, our simple decisions in life carry massive power, whether we choose to believe that or not. This person who has absolutely stunning potential and a wildly beautiful personality with a work ethic to match the two has everything going for them in their life and if they choose to, can have absolutely ANYTHING they desire.
Is checking a text message, a Facebook tag, or an Instagram comment worth losing all of that?
This is a question I had to come to grips with myself about 2 months ago. It also got me thinking about the reason that these things ‘almost’ happen to us.
See, I don’t text and drive almost ever. But I’ll admit that recently, checking my phone and driving has become a more common occurrence than I would care to pay attention to. But it seems that every time I would do it everything would be just fine for awhile. Until I would be given a wake up call. It started out with me missing a turn when I was already late getting somewhere because I was on my phone. Then I nearly rear ended someone. But then the most recent time, I ran a red light. And I thought “Danny are you serious? With your life, the lives of others and the impact you have such a passionate vision for hanging in the balance, is it worth losing all of it over a stupid Snapchat message?” And that’s when it hit me, we are ALL given chances to change our ways before it’s too late. And that was my final one before something catastrophic happened.
My belief is that God gives us these chances – these wake up calls – to move in a better direction before he drops the hammer. My intuition tells me that him doing this is never something that will be done the first time we make a mistake, it only occurs when we ignore the signs telling us to seize doing the behavior that is going to hurt us in an unnecessary way (when there is clearly no other way to get our attention). In my experience, God has tremendous mercy and grace. He is also a God of order. But he certainly is not one of Tyranny where we would be forced to suffer devastating penalty over one mistake.
This all got me thinking however, about the power of our simplest decisions. About how people have such great power to create changes in their life and the lives of many others by simply making a decision. A decision not to text and drive, a decision not to live our lives based on the opinions of others, or even a decision to chase what we are so authentically passionate about. You see, life is long enough to experience all of the things we desire to experience. But also has the outrageous potential to be cut massively short by the wrong decision of someone else.
So I ask you, if your life ended in the blink of an eye at some point over the rest of 2016… how would you choose to live it? We’ve been mercifully gifted this long on this planet, and there’s no reason to believe we won’t have at least that long and more. But the questions we need to ask ourselves are: Am I happy with the impact my life has had on this planet? Or is there more that I could do?
I think you and I both know the answer to that question. So let’s focus on self-awareness and begin to realize the mercy we have had in our lives to help correct our behavior and rather than ever experiencing a hammer fall, experience instead a new level of gratitude for what we have with a keen decision to begin making those necessary changes. And let’s together, make the decision to make the rest of our life the best of our life.
The reason I shared this is because I honestly believe there is someone that needs to see this that is damn near feeling the wrath of that hammer falling in their life in some capacity. So if you know somebody who you think may need to see this, please share it. It could be the difference between praising God for that close call and experiencing the terrible nightmare I almost faced or the one that person so dear to me almost did. Thank you so much, they will too.
Written by Danny Wilgenbusch