Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Life in the balance

On the way to work Friday I experienced a traffic jam on the interstate.  This is not unusual, especially on a Friday in the summer.  I-64 is like a coronary artery for vacationers headed to the beach and that traffic competes with others, like me, who also use the road to commute.  Sometimes you never find out what specifically caused the back-up...the traffic mysteriously seems to slow down and then get past a certain point and recover speed.  But Friday the problem with traffic flow had nothing to do with eager vacationers or less-eager workers.  A large truck, hauling some kind of trailer, had been struck by another vehicle.  The trailer was decimated, with splinters of wood and pieces of various kinds of metal, glass and personal items sprayed across the road.  No police or ambulances had yet arrived but a number of private people had stopped and were doing their best to assist.  Suddenly I spotted the man, who had apparently been the driver.  He was lying, shirtless, on his back in the middle of the right lane.  He was motionless and could have been a fatality.  It was the most sobering auto accident I've ever personally seen.  Later I thought about the uncertainty of life, the dangers of driving and, perhaps most importantly, how 'life hangs in the balance' every day.  A scene like that brought home the reality that each of us has one life, a precious gift.  All the folks around us are equally precious.  Life is highly valuable and surprisingly fragile.  This accident was a sobering reminder that there is a limited window for each of us to find the life that lasts forever.  None of us knows how long we will be here and our departure could be sudden and unexpected.  Each of the folks around us on the highway also have a life that hangs in the balance.
James 4:14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
Rob Smith

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