Last night, I attended an event where I was privileged to share a bit about my life journey and some of the amazing ways that God is using it all to impact youth here in my community. At the end of the event, and after saying my goodbyes, I mounted my motorcycle and began my 30-mile journey back home.
Some minutes later, I’m riding in the carpool lane, traveling at an average speed (average for a motorcycle, anyway) and in a split second, I notice a long metal object laying across my lane. Before I have a chance to even attempt to maneuver around the object, I strike the object head-on going full speed. The object blows my front tire, bends the rim, lifts the front of my bike a few inches off the ground, hits me in the foot, blows my back tire, and breaks my back rim. As I fight to hang on to the handlebars, my motorcycle violently wobbles back and forth for a hundred feet or so, until I’m shockingly able to gain some semblance of control. My motorcycle then creeps to a halt, and though I’ve made it through the initial crisis, I immediately find myself in another.
Unable to travel any faster than 5 miles an hour, I’m effectively stranded in the carpool lane as cars zip by me. I turn and wave attempting to stop traffic, but find myself unsuccessful. After a few minutes of this, I hear honking and turn around to see a car travelling at full speed a dozen feet or so back, coming right at me. The car swerves out of the carpool lane narrowly missing me by a couple of feet. Over the course of the next minute and a half, the same scenario repeats itself twice. I realize that I have no choice but to take action and try to get to the other side of the freeway. As soon as the onslaught of cars appeared to relent for a moment, I began to traverse across the fast lane, until a car finally stops behind me and provides coverage for me through each lane all the way to the shoulder.
I sit for a moment on the side of the freeway, with a busted motorcycle and an injured foot, thanking God for my life. This, though, is not the most significant understanding revealed to me through this experience. After surviving the impact of the object, and being narrowly avoided by car after car in the carpool lane, while surrounded by a sea of speeding cars, a thought comes to my mind: “I could very well die right now.” After a few seconds of intense fear, a peace comes over me. As I sit there seemingly helpless, I recognize that I don’t WANT to die, but I also realize something else: I’m ready to die.
I don’t say that with the intention of being or seeming morbid. I’m thanking God for my life today. I found it exceedingly more beautiful, eating breakfast with my daughter this morning. It brought me great joy, getting her ready and it was precious chatting with her about today’s “Show & Tell” as I dropped her off at school. I can’t imagine not being in her life, and so, again, I’m praising God for my life this morning.
Still, I can’t ignore the most significant revelation from last night: I’m ready to die. This may not seem to make sense, but you see, there is a peace that transcends all understanding. A peace that can saturate one’s being even in the face of what appears to be imminent death. A peace that goes against the fleshly and instinctive way of self-preservation. If I had died last night, I know what I would have lived a life standing for and Who had been standing with me. I would have died knowing who I am, knowing Whose I am, and most importantly, knowing I Am.
The interesting thing is, I’m glad it was me stuck on the freeway, and not somebody else. My heart is heavy this morning for the person who might have found themselves in my shoes last night, but unready to die. For the person who may have amassed great possessions, but still finds themselves empty and wanting more… For the person that may have the right to hold onto that grudge, and has therefore chosen not to forgive that loved one… For the person that is so consumed with his/her own personal success, that he/she has neglected recognize the importance of positively impacting someone else’s life… For the person that is hurting from the void in their heart and has tried to fill that void with EVERYTHING, but the One Thing that was intended to do so.
So I challenge you this morning to consider that the most abundant life lived belongs to one living life ready to lose it. And then I challenge you to live an abundant life. I encourage you to partner with God in loving those who are living lives unready to die into becoming those who are living lives ready to die. Take note, there’s a difference between living a life “ready to die” and living a life “waiting to die.” Death is certain, but what will you do in the meantime? What will you stand for? What will be the legacy that you leave behind? Whose life will you have impacted and how? I challenge you to stand for Truth. I challenge you to stand for Life. But most importantly, friends, I challenge you to stand for Love.
And so I leave you with this question:
“Are you ready?”