This might be the week when the road in front of you suddenly rises up and slaps you in the face. With no warning, life does take sharp turns to the right or left. Deadly storms are just one example.
Before you can get the words out, life stuns you, “I didn’t see that coming!”
The unforeseen just happens, sometimes it seems random, sometimes it a result of some poor choices, and sometimes it comes out of our own despair. All these unexpected moments test our faith; they force us to make choices.
Several years back Charles Hoyle was drinking with his friends. After more than a few drinks, he asked one of the guys if he could take his ATV out for a ride.
After warning him to go slow the friend agreed. Although Charles was considered legally blind, he did have a drivers license, an expired one.
Charles punched the accelerator and took off. No one was fast enough to catch up with him. The good news was he didn’t go very far, the bad news was he ran head-on into a huge tree. It was Charles’ last ride.
Local police said Charles was thrown from the ATV and died of a head injury at the scene. He wasn’t wearing a helmet.
That day was filled with poor choices.
Remember the Old Testament story of the four lepers who lived outside the walls of Samaria? The city was under siege and famine was horrific. These four outcasts reasoned it was time to die, and they weren’t about to sit around and take the slow route. It was time for action. If they headed into the city they would die, if they stayed where they were they would die. So, they headed to the enemy camp with white flag in hand.
“If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”
I love that simple, but risky plan.
What they didn’t know was that God had rattled the cage and the enemy had already fled to the hills. So, when our four outcasts reached the camp, no one was there. The army had abandoned everything, tents, horses, donkeys, food, supplies, and their gold.
This wasn’t in the plan; they didn’t see it coming, but they knew how to take what was left. As they were filling their guts with food and hiding away a little gold and silver, guilt set in. It was wrong to keep this treasure to themselves, so they headed back to the city gate and told of their discovery. The news was shared and the city was saved. 2 Kings 7 NIV
That day was filled with good choices.
I love watching recorded TV programs. That way I can fast-forward through the commercials. But, somehow I saw one that was more memorable than the program.
It was a commercial for the Enclave minivan. It opens with the Enclave sitting in front of a park. A boy holding a football helmet, and his two sisters, climb into the minivan. Dad is behind the wheel and Mom is in he passenger seat. Cup holders are everywhere. Dad starts the car and pulls away from the curb.
The minivan cruises through the streets, while the narrator describes features of vehicle.
The Enclave pulls to a stop at the intersection. The camera zooms in on the boy enjoying the sites of their journey. Dad pulls into the intersection and … BAM.
A speeding car slams into the minivan. The sounds of the crash are amplified while glass shatters and metal crunches.
The screen fades to black and the message appears, “Didn’t see that coming?”
The question fades and a simple statement takes its place: “No one ever does.”
While the horn blares in the background the final words appear: “Buckle up… Always.”
By the way, there is no minivan called the Enclave… this was an ad for the Ad Council
I’ve never forgotten the question, “Didn’t see that coming?”
So, want to see the commercial?
Faith challenges come at us out of the blue. Sometimes on the way home from church disaster strikes and we are blindsided.
So, what’s the answer? Don’t just stand there, do something. Most of all, look for God.
Even if the disaster is a result of poor choices, God is already there, changing your world and re-shaping your future. Didn’t see that coming? Take a breath, it’s a new chapter and God has a major part, don’t miss HIM. Then, honor Him, be the story. Oh, and don’t forget to buckle-up; write about it!