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!

I have several more lessons – but so that this post isn’t uberlong I will wait and post them in a day or so.
If you have not read the account of the accident and you want all the details then you can go to my daughter’s blog and get the scoop along with lots of pictures: ChadandChristy.blogspot.com
Grace and Peace to you!

14 thoughts on “Lessons Learned the Hard Way: A Perspective On Our India Accident

  1. Hi Shay and Family,
    What an inspiring post! I read Christy’s a day ago with tears in my eyes (my faucet has been turned on 66 years). I felt so bad for her, but what faith and a positive attitude she has. Easy to see where this came from. Please just know Bill and I are praying for all of you. God Bless You!

  2. The supernatural evil thought it had the upper hand, but this is clearly a true modern day story that God triumphs evil and you listened to make the best of every opportunity for His glory. I am so sorry for all of you and your pain, but God is good, and He knows He has a plan for you.

    The tears are a good thing. Whether sad or happy, they cleanse the soul to give us perspective and a goal, a goal that God has for you. I am thankful for our God. He will see you through this and your bodies healing. Thank you for listening to his commandment, even though you were weary.

    God Bless you and your family, and will continue to uplift you in prayer for full recovery of your injuries.

  3. Praising God for his protection of ya’ll. . Awed by his presence in the dailiness of our lives and choices. Anxious to see the continued revelaton of his hand through your lives. choices, and obedience! Inspired….AGAIN…..by you and your most precious family. You guys are some of my all time favorites…..and this post is why…..the people you are. Regular, normal people chasing hard after an amazing God….loving people, even as you are suffering and obeying even when it is not easy. Amazing! I love Christ in you (all of you guys) AND one of my favorite things from Christy’s blog is how Scott and Tucker wept and prayed over ya’ll. What joy you both must have seeing ALL your children walking with the Lord! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  4. Shay and Linda, we are so relieved that you are home and have lived to tell the story of what happened! We are so grateful to God for His mercy and provision throughout the ordeal and joined thousands of others praying for you guys. The list of things that make you sad also sadden me but like you, I see great reason for joyful thanks in what could have turned out very differently. We love all of you Reyners! David and Cathy Horner

  5. we love you guys more and more each day!!! I don’t typically cry – don’t know why… just not wired like that. BUT…i have been most teary reading christy’s and your posts.who knows, maybe i do have a soft spot down deep). Having lived in “dark” places, I feel certain beyond a shadow of doubt that the unseen was hard at work. I can’t wait to one day hear “the rest of the story”..the unfolding of the journey of those you interfaced with along your path. Won’t heaven be incredible to hear all the “rest of the stories!!” love you guys! Princess and Aaron

    1. Shay and Linda, I echo Princess and all the statements of love and support. We Sparks are loving you and praying from a distance. I also know that darkness and evil exist. AND that the supernatural could affect Taxis just as much as scooters. It’s all grace, friend. I, too, see the supernatural at work, redeeming and bring beauty out of difficulty through you and your family.

  6. Well Shay…your tears are contagious, I’m also sad for many of the same reasons but my heart is so full of joy that you guys are home and all of you are on the road to recovery. It will be a little longer road for Linda physically but there are many helping hands just waiting for a call to action. It would have surprised me if you had responded any other way than you have… the brokeness, the obedience, the soul searching but I can’t help but to feel that this time of reflection is what will make you strong in the end. However, I can also hear everyone saying don’t be soooo hard on Shay!!! Yes, you were in the drivers seat but it is the adventureous nature in you that we all love. My biggest prayer for you has been and will continue to be that of emotional healing because I think that is were your biggest wounds are. God has already opened wide the door of opportunities and He has and will continue to find you faithful. Being vunerable and transparent is often the hardest part of getting through these valley experiences. Shay what may have been meant for evil God can and will use for good… Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. As many others I’m anxious and excited to see how God’s Glory is revealed in all of this!

  7. Tears are good things. Lots of tears were shed here as we prayed for you and waited for your safe return! Sad Tears, Glad Tears, Good Tears. Your “adventure” served to be a great testimony to many and I’m praying that you will one day see how God fit it all together.

  8. Shay, your entire family has been in my prayers since I first got word about the accident. Christy’s blog post with the details was very sobering and I am rejoicing over the Lord’s protection of you all. I am praying for you (all) as you heal physically and emotionally. Not only did my heart hurt for you, Linda and Christy’s physical pain, but also for Chad and your son’s emotional turmoil of having to witness their loved ones enduring so much.

    I don’t put a lot of stock in dreams, but last night I dreamed about you and Linda, so I felt like maybe the Holy Spirit was prompting me to reach out and encourage you two. Thank you for investing in me as a teen. Eternal rewards, my friend.

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