It was on this Monday a year ago, on a bright sunny afternoon as we returned from a weekend break in Yorkshire that a large articulated lorry drove into the side of us and pushed us off the motorway. In those awful few seconds of grinding metal upon metal, I lost control of the car and we skidded in a spin in front of the articulated lorry. In that brief moment of terror, I braced myself and waited for the next impact, like you used to do as a child on the dodgems at the fair. I was certain that we were going to be killed. It was in that instant that we both cried out to God. By a miracle, we both walked away from our wrecked car. It was all over in about 20 seconds.
As you can imagine, we told the story many times over the weeks following. People said “The big man was with you!” “There were angels there that day.” “Someone was looking after you.” One of the traffic cops advised us to go and buy a lottery ticket that evening. He said he hadn’t seen many walk away from such a tangle with a lorry. The car was a write off, with £10.000 worth of damage. But we walked away. Bruised, aching, but with no serious injury, just an incredible emotional trauma for both of us.
If ever there has been a time in my life when I felt God’s hand on us, believed in divine intervention, felt our guardian angels were with us, however you want to express it, it was at that moment.
Life is precious. Life is a gift. Life is sacred. But it is easy for us all to get bogged down with the petty issues in life, the niggles of everyday existence, the awkwardness of folks, the little annoyances that get blown out of all proportion.
I’m reminded on this anniversary day how we, as human beings, get embroiled and distracted by all of this petty stuff all the time, every day. And I’m also reminding myself as I write this of the fundamental truth I’ve expressed above, that life is precious, life is a gift, life is sacred. So, my thought for the day on this anniversary morning is thus. Live life to the full, give thanks to God for being here and for the sacred gift of life; love your family and your friends and let them know you love them. And keep a sense of scale as every new day begins.
The following morning, a neighbour having heard out tale kindly pushed a couple of lottery tickets through our door. We didn’t win, but hey, you know what, I think we’d had our share of ‘luck.’