When you play chess, you learn to think five moves ahead.  If the other player does this, I can do this.  If he does that, I could do that or that.  I realized the other day that I drive like I play chess.  I analyze if this driver does this, I can do that.  If the other one does that, I can do this.

I feel prepared to preemptively strike once a space opens up.  Because, let’s face it, everybody driving in front of me is driving too slowly for my satisfaction.  And when they don’t do this or that, I end up like THIS:

But seriously, we can think we’re prepared and do what we can to be prepared, but we are not always.  When a tragedy occurs, it’s usually not expected and no matter how prepared we might think we are, it will still take us by surprise.

Tragic events are an unfortunate and unwelcome part of life, but they do happen and they remind us that life is unpredictable and finite.  They remind us to cherish moments and loved ones.  We wish they didn’t happen but it snaps us back to reality when they do, and they remind us of what is important.

My reminder happened this past weekend.

One of my dearest friends (and one of the safest drivers I know) and her college-aged son were involved in a car crash Friday night.  I didn’t learn of it until Saturday, but when I did, I was floored.  When I found out more details on Sunday about the crash, I was even more floored.

A teen, speeding way above the speed limit in my friend’s own neighborhood, came around a corner, lost control, slid across the road, and plowed head-on into my friend’s truck, sending them toppling twice over.

Her truck is totaled.  His blew up.  She was just released from the hospital with a foot broken in three places, a clavicle broken in two places, and assorted bumps, bruises, jammed digits, scratches, and other injuries.  Her son has assorted bumps, bruises and scratches and is thankfully mobile.

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What’s left of her truck.

But they are alive.

Thank God (literally) they were in her truck because if they had been in her Jetta, well…I might not have been able to visit them in a hospital.

Would that we remember what is important every day without some awful event being the impetus, however, this happened and it made me think about so many things—how relieved I was that they were okay; how we just do not know when something might happen that will change our lives completely; how much I love and care for my family and dear friends, and how blessed I am to have them in my life; and how sad I would be if I missed an opportunity to let them know how I feel.

You know what’s coming next—the directive or friendly suggestion to hug your loved ones, and tell them how much they mean to you.  Send a note, text, message, smoke signal, or make a phone call, and remember what and who are important, not only because a tragedy occurred, but continually.  Because you just don’t know.

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Becky is a single mom and a reluctant disciple, called to share her story with others.  She knows God equips her for her journey, and she does her best to trust in His plan for that journey and not to judge others on theirs…unless they say she eats too much chocolate; then she can’t be friends with them anymore.  But she will pray for them.  Follow the Reluctant Disciple for more quirky insights into these groovy trails we call life.

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