Today began like any other day in my normal routine, but it didn’t end that way. It was one of those days – and I’ve had a few of them over the years – where life just completely stops me in my tracks and gets my attention. I catch my breath, exhale a sigh of relief, and fall down on my knees to God.
My morning started in the usual way. I woke up and scanned my phone for messages and glanced at my calendar. My daily tasks start running through my mind – it’s trash day, I need gas, I have a meeting in the office – and I look at all the other breaking news alerts that have become far too common in our world. Then I saw a grieving post from a friend on facebook. Another classmate from my child’s younger school days had overdosed and committed suicide. That is the second classmate in the two years since my son graduated high school. Two funerals by the age of 20.
I cried out to God. I cried out for mercy. Mercy for our children, whom Satan wants to destroy. Mercy for our country, and for the challenging times we live in.
And then as I do every morning before I leave the house, I prayed for “safety and surroundings”. That’s my way of praying for the safety of my family for the day and for safety in our surroundings that we encounter – the people and circumstances we meet along the way. And then I headed out to work.
On my way back home that afternoon, the traffic slowed down to its usual crawl on the interstate. Five lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic. I noticed the car behind me changed lanes as soon as the traffic slowed down. It seems people are always trying to jump into a faster lane. And then in a split second, I glance back up to my rear view mirror to see a large camper coming very fast toward me. Within inches of hitting the back of my car, the camper miraculously swerves into the next lane. I saw the camper was also pulling a large trailer with a car on it. I don’t know how the driver was able to maneuver such a large vehicle and trailer at the last minute without hitting me or anyone else in the next lane. Then the camper continued swerving to the outer lane where it almost hit the concrete wall before coming to a complete stop. The driver must have been very shaken, because once he finally stopped, he did not begin to move again for at least another minute or two.
I began to cry. I couldn’t believe what I just saw. If the other car previously behind me had not changed lanes a few seconds earlier, the camper surely would have hit them and they would have hit me. I don’t know how the camper missed hitting all the other cars in traffic, or how it was even physically possible that he did not hit my car.
I immediately thought back to my morning prayer of safety and surroundings. Once more I cried out to God. I thanked Him for His mercy on my day. For His protection. For His miracle. For my life.
I have no doubt that prayers are essential to getting through this life. No matter how late I may be in the morning, I will always stop and pray and begin my day first by talking with God. It’s too important, because I never know how an ordinary day will turn out.