Lessons Learned the Hard Way: A Perspective On Our India Accident
I find that I cry a lot these days! Not weepy cries ( though I have had a few of those) but mostly teary cries – the kind that creep up on you and take you by surprise. It would seem that this accident we had has unclogged my emotional faucet.
Some of the cries are sad cries:
I’m sad that my wife has to go through all that she is dealing with.
I’m sad that my daughter had to have 2 sets of stitches in her eye lid.
I’m sad that we didn’t get to spend another week with Christy and Chad.
I’m sad that we didn’t get to hang out in Indore where they live.
I’m sad that we didn’t get to know their team which they love so much.
I’m sad that we didn’t get to go to Thailand.But not all of the cries are sad cries.
Some of them are glad cries:
I’m glad that we are still alive.
I’m glad that we we all be okay and back to normal in a few months.
I’m glad that our family got to spend time together and make some memories.
I’m glad that our sons are such fine young men and willing to be servants while we recuperate.
I’m glad that God is in control… always.
I’m glad that His joy is our strength… always.
I’m glad to have such good friends and family who have cared for us so much.
For the last few weeks I’ve been processing what happened. It is not at all like I had scripted our vacation. And yet I am convinced that God is up to something. It may be years before I understand why things happened the way that they did, but here are a few things I have already learned.
The power of the supernatural – I take full responsibility for the accident. I was driving the scooter. I was in control. And yet I wasn’t. I have no reasonable explanation for why we crashed. One second we were in the middle of the road cruising along just fine and the next we were smashing into the median wall. Here is what it felt like to me. I felt the bike starting to pull hard to the right. It was as if an unseen hand had lassoed the bike and was pulling it toward the wall – and there was nothing I could do about it. This is not an excuse to help me feel better about what happened it is just what it felt like to me. I had several people who live in Indore tell me that the city is a “dark” place. I’m convinced that there was something supernatural going on. But what was meant to destroy will ultimately result in glory for God.
One choice has a multitude of consequences – We had a choice. Take a taxi or take the scooter. I made my case for the scooter and we know how that turned out. If we had taken the taxi things may have turned out quite differently. A choice. We make lots of choices everyday. I’ve been reminded how devastating one bad choice can be. And I am fully aware that bad things happen to people and that sometimes things happen that we have no control over. But a Scripture that comes to mind is this: “Be very careful how you live, not as unwise but as wise..” Ephesians 5:15. Stupid choices have broad consequences. As a friend of mine says to his kids every time they walk out the door of the house, “Don’t do anything stupid!” For Scripture also says, “You reap what you sow.” Things could have ended up a whole lot worse for us. But what we are enduring now all began with a choice.
Make the most of every opportunity – If you continue reading Ephesians 5:15 it goes on to say, “…making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” As I was being wheeled into surgery to repair my damaged ear this is what was going through my head: Make the most of every opportunity! Make the most of every opportunity! When the plastic surgeon asked how I was doing I asked him if it would be okay if I prayed for him. I’m pretty sure this caught him by surprise. He was Hindu and I would be surprised if anyone had ever asked him this before. When I finished praying I told him thanks and he said “I should be the one thanking you.” The next morning as we were flying to Delhi I sat next to a man and his daughter – also Hindu. I really didn’t feel much like talking but again I heard in my head, “Make the most of every opportunity.” So for an hour I engaged him in conversation about what he believed as a Hindu. He ended up giving me his card and saying if there was anything he could to help with anything then let him know. When I showed Chad the card, he recognized the man as a member of one of the unreached peoples that their team in India is trying to engage. I’m hoping that our brief conversation will result in a connection that allow for the advance of the gospel. Make the most of every opportunity!