Life is a vapor, tragedies averted, and Crazy Love
This week I started rereading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Sometimes I try to read through Chapter 2 really fast where Chan discusses our lives being a vapor.
I don't always want to reflect upon the reality of the brevity of life.
Chan asks hard questions in the video and the book.
One passage in Chapter 2 caused me to pause earlier this week as I reflected on the words.
On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves. On the average day, we don’t consider God very much. On the average day, we forget that our life truly is a vapor. But there is nothing normal about today.
Just think about everything that must function properly just for you to survive. For example, your kidneys. The only people who really think about their kidneys are people whose kidneys don’t work correctly. The majority of us take for granted our kidneys, liver, lungs, and other internal organs that we’re dependent upon to continue living.
What about driving down the road at sixty-five miles per hour, only a few feet away from cars going the opposite direction at the same speed? Someone would only have to jerk his or her arm and you would be dead. I don’t think that’s morbid; I think it’s reality.
-excerpt from Chan, Francis (2010-01-01). Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God (p. 37). David C Cook. Kindle Edition.
As I reflected upon Chapter 2 in this book, I really had to ask myself if I were living in such a way, that I would be ready to face eternity at any moment. I also had to ask myself if I were encouraging family and friends in the Lord, especially those that have not accepted Christ for their salvation.
It is very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities and routines, without truly considering our lives are just a vapor.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. ~James 4:14
This week our family had a sobering reminder of how life is fragile. On Wednesday afternoon, my daughters and I were traveling a few miles into town for a dentist appointment. I had spent most of the afternoon feeling anxious about the appointment. Our girls needed to have dental and orthodontia procedures, and I was weighed down by the upcoming costs we faced.
Our oldest daughter Shaiya drove her car into town, and I followed behind in our van with our youngest daughter, just a couple of cars behind her. As I was driving, my feelings of anxiety began to increase, and I prayed aloud, "God be with us and help us." I said this twice when my prayer was interrupted because I was distracted by the sight of a horse bucking and running wildly in a field next to me. I looked at it for a moment and stopped praying. I wondered what made it so frightened. I did not want to take my eyes off the road for long, so I kept driving ahead without seeing the scene that had unfolded. I did not notice that Shaiya had pulled over on the next road and I kept driving to the dentist.
Shaiya arrived at the dentist visibly shaken and I was surprised to hear what had taken place. Shaiya was driving the speed limit into town, and a car followed too closely behind her trying to push her to speed up. Shaiya kept driving the speed limit even though this car continued to ride too close on her tail. As we passed Lucy's restaurant on 67 in Anderson, a large Tahoe swerved and crossed our lane right in front of Shaiya's small car. It crashed through fences, a barn, and landed in a home. You can read the report at the Herald Bulletin. It all happened within a matter of seconds. I was only two cars behind our daughter, and the only thing that I noticed was the frightened horse bucking in the field.
Thankfully, this accident was not a tragedy. The driver (who was "momentarily distracted" by his cell phone) was not injured in the crash, the occupants of the home were in another part of the house, and our daughter was not run over by the Tahoe when it crossed her path. Even the horse and goats in the field were not injured. This incident could have turned out much differently. I shudder at the thought at what could have happened, all due to one person becoming distracted while driving, for just one brief moment. This brief moment of distraction could have extinguished the lives of four people, and in God's mercy tragedy was averted.
I am very thankful to the Lord, and I praise Him for His mercy and protection. I pray the driver has learned his lesson well, and will put his phone away while driving.
As I reread Crazy Love again, I am mindful of how every moment matters in life, for the glory of God and His purposes. Chan admonishes:
To be brutally honest, it doesn’t really matter what place you find yourself in right now. Your part is to bring Him glory—whether eating a sandwich on a lunch break, drinking coffee at 12:04 a.m. so you can stay awake to study, or watching your four-month-old take a nap.
The point of your life is to point to Him. Whatever you are doing, God wants to be glorified, because this whole thing is His. It is His movie, His world, His gift.
-excerpt from Chan, Francis (2010-01-01). Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God (pp. 42-43). David C Cook. Kindle Edition.
This book pricked my heart in a good way. It propelled me to turn the Lord for more of Him and less of life's distractions.
If you have not read it yet, it is a good read. Be warned, as it will dig in deep issues of the heart. It may cause you to experience repentance. The chapter on lukewarmness worked me over pretty good.
Thank you Lord for mercy. Thank you for life. May You be glorified.