Thankful for Life!
With Thanksgiving only two days away, I could think of all kinds of things to be thankful for, but tonight something happened that made me realize what a precious and wonderful gift is life itself!
I just returned home traveling from Chiloquin across the backroads that run through Crater Lake National Park. Snow lined the road, but the pavement was clear and I forgot to slow down. Nobody travels that road this late and at this time of year. A fact I had forgotten when I decided to take that route in the first place.
Without any warning whatsoever, my Ford Explorer started spinning like crazy. Don't know how many times I went full circle, but my steering wheel kept pace. Then the car started that crazy rock thing . . . up on two wheels . . . then up on the other two . . . all while it continued to spin.
I was returning from an Old Testament Survey class, so thoughts of God were quickly on my mind. "Oh Lord," I cried. "Oh Lord. Help me. Help me."
And I knew it was over. My tires simply couldn't grab hold on the solid sheet of ice covering the pavement. I barely missed the ditch on the mountain side, trees passed way too close, then the car turned and I started sliding backward over the edge of the cliff bordering Annie Springs. If you've ever visited Crater Lake, you know just how steep that cliff is! It's pure pumice with nothing to break a fall.
"Oh Lord," I cried one more time. And the strangest thing happened. The engine died, the steering wheel locked and the brake worked simultaneously. I'm not even sure if that is possible. Everything is power on my car. Usually nothing works when the engine dies. But the brake found no purchase. "God?" It was more a question than a plea. And suddenly the car stopped. As if a giant hand just held it there. I sat there with the car turned 180 degrees from the direction I had started. My head hurt, my foot was banged up, but I was alive! And no air bag to deal with either.
I slowly eased the car back toward Chiloquin until I could turn around, thinking all the time that if I had gone over or even in the ditch, no one would have found me until the next morning . . . and maybe not even then. I passed no other cars coming or going. Freezing temperatures, ice and snow. I've taken enough wilderness survival classes to know a lot of people don't survive a night under those conditions.
I'm so grateful for God's hand on my life. My times are in His hands. At the very least I could have been in the hospital this Thanksgiving, but He was gracious in spite of my certainly not deserving it. How could I have forgotten to slow down?
I had plenty of time to think about the incident on my thirty-miles-an-hour rest of the trip home. If I had gone over. If I had ended up in the hospital . . . or even with the Lord. That too would have been in His hands and part of His faithfulness. Yet I would have found it harder to accept.
I don't know the why of it. Why God allows some things and not others. But I'm grateful to be alive. And I plan to seek God for what He wants me to do with my time . . . how He wants me to redeem it.
And I won't be traveling that road again on my winter Chiloquin trips!
So, what are you thankful for?