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?