Precarious

“For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.”   Psalm 91:11

I’m a salesman. I drive a lot. Sometimes 2000 miles or more a week.  Once I learned to deal with the largely unproductive time of driving, I acquired a real appreciation, even peace, for all of the beautiful countryside I travel through.

The downside is the way other people drive. It would seem that the DOT in almost every state could save a lot of money by simply doing away with speed limit signs.  Very few pay heed to them.  And I don’t mean by a little.

This week I traveled I-40 into North Carolina. Going through the Smokies is a lesson in just how beautifully God made the world.  It’s also unnerving at times how fast everyone goes, despite the speed limit.  Especially the semis.

The road twists around a good bit, uphill and down. Four generous lanes are divided by a concrete barrier.  That’s it.  It would SEEM to be enough.

As I was starting a gentle downgrade that curved to my left, something caught my eye on the other side. A semi truck – going uphill, mind you – was taking the turn too fast and his rig was starting to overturn.  That would be in my direction.

I quickly took in what was ahead of me while watching this thing come over the barrier. The trailer hit the barrier and started coming apart as it kept coming toward me.  It looked like the roof of it was coming off and was going to simply slap me head-on like a giant hand.  With not much of a shoulder, but a lot of empty road ahead.  I floored the accelerator, hoping to get past it before it reached my lane.

I really can’t say how much it missed me by. It may have been as close as I feared or not.  All I thought about was drifting right as far as I dared and speed.  I never really looked in my rearview mirror; I just kept looking forward to be sure I didn’t overtake and hit someone ahead of me.

I was able to stop safely on the grassy shoulder about a quarter mile away. I called 911, but by then they had already had people calling in.

Did angels protect me or was I just enjoying some dumb luck? I remembered sociology in college.  Someone did a study of just how precarious life is.  After surveying a lot of people over time, the study revealed that we all experience a lot more close calls than we might think.  It happens so frequently that the odds would seem to dictate a lot more accidental carnage in this world.

That can be explained by Psalm 91:11.

But accidents do happen. People do succumb to the odds at some point.  What, if anything, does that say about angels’ protection?

“There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”   Luke 1:1-5

This reads to me as if Jesus is saying it’s a sinful world. Stuff happens.  It isn’t because God hates you.  It isn’t because an angel picked a bad time for a coffee break.  Sin brings death.  In His mercy, God cuts everyone a break time and time again.  But sooner or later, we arrive at Piper-Paying-Time.  Sin collects it’s due and us.

Fortunately, Jesus paid the Piper eternally. We still have to “shuffle off this mortal coil” sooner or later.  The eternal death loses, however, thanks to the love of Jesus and The Father.

For some more thoughts, see a past article, “When the Grave Grabs Ahold.” https://jeffreyhking.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/when-the-grave-grabs-ahold/

 

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