If you live long enough you will have the occasional brush with death. Mine usually include a ladder, or a roof, or a very narrow steep hiking trail, or a riptide. In this case, I was driving and looking to make a left turn out of a parking lot. After looking both ways, I became focused on the face of the kind driver waving me on in the far lane to make the turn in front of him. As I began to move forward a car from the opposite lane zipped by, thankfully blaring his horn at the old guy he was about to hit. (That would be me.) A second later I would have been t-boned on the driver’s side. And although I may have survived, the odds were pretty good I would not have.
If you think hard enough, you probably remember a similar moment or two when you came close to checking out. After immediately thanking God profusely, I recalled a term I had for similar events. I may not be the first to use the phrase ‘death meter’ but cannot remember it being used the way I do. On a scale from 0 to 100, 0 being sitting still in your favorite chair at home peacefully reading a book or watching TV; and 100 being accidentally falling headfirst into a large woodchipper. So, for instance, every time you get in your car or board a plane or some other moving vehicle your death meter goes up. Get out of your car and into your Lazy-boy your death meter goes down. Pretty simple. For an instant my meter was in the mid-90’s before I slammed on my brakes and just missed being plowed into by that oncoming SUV.
A brush with death always gets you thinking. For me, not in a fearful way because my faith assures me that I’m not made for this world anyway, and that my death here simply is a transition to my true home with my Creator. But like others, my thinking was more about what I am doing here with the precious time I have until I do depart. One thing I will try to do is wake up each day with the goal of helping at least one person with their journey on earth. A smile, a kind word, reaching out to an old friend or family member, a contribution to a just cause, and yes, maybe even changing a dirty diaper. I also will try to write a little more about my own journey through this life (Thanks Victor.) Knowing that I am not alone in my experiences, I hope to spark a conversation with other travelers on our way to our ultimate destination. Be careful out there.