Several days ago, I was driving east on Highway 72 near Athens, AL and stopped for a red light at Lucas Ferry Road. Three weeks earlier, another woman stopped at that same red light, and a few seconds later her life ended suddenly and without warning.
The lady was in her mid-40’s and on her way to work in Huntsville. She had two children and two grandchildren. She had no idea that a tractor-trailer truck would be going at full speed and hit her from behind causing her car to burst into flames. She was innocent. She was merely sitting still, going about her normal daily routine. But, I have thought again and again about what she might have thought, said or done in the moments before that fatal crash.
What was she thinking as she sat at that light? Was she looking forward to her workday or dreading it? Was she anticipating what would happen after she got off work? Did she have supper going in the crockpot? Did she have a list of errands beside her on the seat? Was she listening to the radio and humming along to some tunes or chuckling with Rick and Bubba or lamenting the latest news? Was she worried about anything? Was she happy about the relationships in her life?
What were her last words? What were the last conversations she had with her husband, children, grandchildren and close friends? Had she spoken to anyone on the phone that morning?
Besides getting up and getting dressed for work, what else had she done? Did she straighten the house, go out and pick a few vegetables from her garden, watch TV, feed the dog, read her Bible? Did she look in her rearview mirror a split second before the truck hit? Did she even have time to scream? Did she feel any pain? Oh, how I hope not.
I have no idea about the spiritual condition of that woman or what her relationship with Christ was, but I do know that woman could have been me. The same kind of accident could happen to any of us. But, rather than dwell on the actual moment of our deaths — and for those of us who are in Christ that moment will be glorious — the lesson for me has been to be more intentional with my thoughts, words and actions. To live in such a way that the last remembrances anyone might have of me would be positive, uplifting, encouraging, happy, edifying and Christ-honoring. This accident has caused me to reexamine the relationships in my life, to try to make improvements, to say the things to friends that I’ve been thinking and know they would enjoy hearing. To say “I love you” more often. I pray for that woman’s family and for the driver of the truck who hit her. Those few seconds have forever changed a lot of lives.
Acts 20:22-24 “And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8 “ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”