What About Close Calls?

During my lifetime I have had several close calls.

When I was in first or second grade I almost drowned at a backyard end-of-the-year school party for my class at St. John’s in Encinitas, California. A few years later my oldest brother, Mike, yelled at me to get out of the road in Leucadia near the corner of Hygeia and (what is now) Leucadia Blvd. and a car passed by very close as I stepped out of the way.

A couple years later I fell off my bike at age 12 as I transitioned from the road to the sidewalk on my way to St. John’s school when it was on Melrose. I landed on my face and could have easily broken my neck. Instead, I changed my two front teeth forever and now I have permanent caps over what can only be described as “nubs”. Less than two years later I fell off a skateboard on a very steep hill and landed on my face (again) and people were amazed (again) that I didn’t break my neck.

These are just some of the incidents that stand out in my memory. Perhaps you’ve had similar close calls in your life.

Why do some people survive and others, like a high school classmate who drowned in a flash flood in Valley Center, not survive? I can’t answer that question easily. I’m sure you can find books on the subject. One book that has a lot of great insight for believers is Dallas Willard’s Divine Conspiracy. Some people find him too intellectual, so if that’s the case, I recommend books by John Ortberg. He sometimes half-jokingly refers to himself as “Dallas Willard for Dummies”.

Today Ari Fleischer, who was press secretary under President George W. Bush, was in a restroom instead of at baggage claim while the gunman was shooting. He said, “Thank God I had to make a pit stop.”

This sort of phenomenon is happening every day for someone, not just in my past or your past.

I guess I believe that God still has more work for Ari Fleischer and me to do.

One of the things we can do is pray. I prayed soon after reading about the incident for the victims and their families and I prayed for the shooter’s heart to change.

I am coming to believe that God calls us to do more than pray sometimes and I’m also believing that sometimes God reveals to us what that is.

IF we are listening to God. Please keep listening to Jesus.

God bless you and keep you!

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