Monday, November 05, 2007

In a New York Minute

My brother recently had a "close call" with the Grim Reaper. He was driving home after just successfully winning his very first jury trial (rah!) and was on the phone telling my mom all about about it. Suddenly he saw the ladder on the truck ahead of him lift up high in the air and come CRASHING down on the road directly in front of him, (narrowly missing hitting him or the windshield). With traffic on either side, he had to drive over the ladder and thankfully there was no damage to himself or the car. The difference of a second or two probably saved his life.

Not long after this, a family that went to our hometown church had a terrible car accident. They were returning home from their daughter's wedding and, in a matter of seconds, crashed into a semi-truck, killing the mother and severely injuring their granddaughter. Active and with many friends, the whole town is really devastated.

In a recent post I wrote about "nudges" that I feel come from God. Today I'm wondering again about them. Are they present at all times and we choose to ignore them at our own peril? Or are they sometimes conspicuously absent and life events are allowed to surprise and shock us?

The book club selection I just finished reading tonight deals with this age-old conflict between predeterminism and free-will. One scene describes a fatal car accident. Because of the main character's ability to spontaneously time travel, he ends up surviving while his mother dies. The question of why he was "saved" haunts him. Tonight I find I have similar questions as well. Why did my brother survive but our friend die? Is everything predetermined or can we change our future with the choices we make in the present?

3 comments:

Lance Noe said...

Not being hindu allows me to believe that we have a choice. I think it even says in the B-I-B-L-E- OH YES! thats the book FOR ME! about we choose our own path but the lord is with us....

I think there are certain things that we SHOULD achieve but it is entirely up to us to achieve them.

As for premonitions, I ahve them all the time! ALL THE TIME! I tend to ignore them and I am always wrong. I have started to listen more and more and life has been much smoother.

Our bodies sense danger, we know when it is near, like when your boss calls and you know it is him and you don't want to answer it, YOU KNOW!

CHOICE - it's what seperates us from the lower life forms - otherwise known as a republicans!

sassiekiwi said...

Hi Dan

I have had those nudges and seen some freaky results when i paid attention! The one that comes to mind was feeling a very strong nudge to pray for a friend ... and when I prayed ... I started praying in earnest and asking God to protect her life. She was in a car smash at a similar time that totalled her car. The police said it was miracle she survived.

Then ... you have examples like your friend and then Amos losing Yun Jin this summer in a car crash after 21 days of marriage. There is no explanation. There is no why to explain why one dies and one does not.

The predetermination vs free will is an age old question (and the underlying theme in one of the Matrix movies!). I have come to the point that when I focus on that I get in a tangle. There is not answer this side of death.

What I focus in is what do I know for sure. And what I know for sure is that Ps 139 says all my days were ordained and written in HIS book before one of them came to be. In other words the only one who knows the number of days is God. The real question is not how many do we get and why do some people get less than others (like my Dad dying at 49) ... but what do we do with our days? Do we cherish them and make them count. Are we listening for the nudges of God? How are we using our time?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your brother is okay. A similar situation happened to me and my parents a few years back when we were driving on the highway, only it wasn't a ladder, it was a lumber wood. Our windshield got smashed but we were all okay. There are things in this world we cannot explain. I don't necessarily think we chose to ignore them, especially when we get a bad feeling.... I just think that some people are more instinctively conscious of these things than others. True we have the power to shape our future, but I also believe in fate and destiny and that there are things in life which we cannot control. We don't always know the "whens" and "whys", all I know is that, being a Catholic, I believe that God has a purpose for each and everyone of us. - D