Friday, July 18, 2008

In The Time of Our Lives...

Lately, it seems that God has been conspiring to remind me that every moment I am permitted on this earth is precious, not to be taken for granted. Yesterday, this post made me cry. This morning, an email informed me of the sudden death of a girl I shared a class with in college, and who attended my seminary only a year before I did.

If those factors weren’t enough, this afternoon I was placed only seconds away from horrible injury, if not death. My sister, who just got her driver’s license, was at the wheel, and though my mother yelled, “Stop! Stop!” she continued to make a slow left-hand turn, right in front of a rapidly approaching oncoming car. I closed my eyes, braced for an impact. The earsplitting screech of the other car’s brakes alerted me to the fact that, miraculously, we had escaped unscathed. It took several moments for my breathing to return to normal, and longer for my mind to attempt to grasp the concept: instead of laughing shakily as my sister repeatedly crept forward and reversed in an attempt to park the car—I could have been dead.

It has been said a thousand times, but it’s infinitely true: life is fragile. We have little control over what happens in our lives, and any day could be our last. Yet, we must not, we cannot, live our lives conscious of this fact at every second. To do so would be to live a life of fear. And so, blessedly, we are often able to forget. Yet, an occasional reminder of mortality is necessary. It is sobering, but uplifting, providing an insistent call to make the most of each opportunity we have to find beauty and meaning in this life.