If we look back on our lives we can often find not just one or two, but numerous times when we could have entered heaven right then. For instance, when I was too young to remember, my mother tells me of a time traveling in the car to Kansas. My dad pulled in the left lane to pass a car (before all the interstate highway roads had been completed). It was quitting time at a factory they just passed, and the guy my dad was passing must have thought it was a buddy of his. So he decides to play chicken and not let us get by. There was an oncoming car, and at the last second the jerk looked over, was surprised to see we were not who he expected, and quickly pulled aside to avoid a collision.
When I was a kid old enough to remember, my mom was driving me and a whole bunch of other kids in a station wagon on a country road (speed limit 45). Someone pulled in front of her at an intersection and she went around that car on two wheels. When the car bounced down again, she went up on the other two wheels to avoid a head-on collision with a car coming towards her. Since there were no seat belts yet, it would have been very ugly if my mom hadn't been able to drive like a top Hollywood stunt man that day.
When I was fifteen, my sister and I were driving home from school on that same country road. An oncoming car lost control and narrowly missed hitting us. When they came to a stop in a horse pasture, no one was left in the vehicle. They were spewed out all over that field and in need of an ambulance.
When I was eighteen I came very close to being struck by lightning.
When I was twenty-three I got pneumonia. Without modern medicine, who knows what would have happened. Thank God for vaccines, too.
When I was twenty-five I hemorrhaged badly during a miscarriage. I can still remember vividly what it was like to lie there on a gurney in a warm pool of blood. It was about four units worth. I received two units of blood that day. Within a couple years after this event they decided it was time to start screening blood for the AIDS virus...
When I was around thirty-one or two, I was walking my two young boys down Packard Road. John was dawdling and looking at everything in every sidewalk crack. I kept urging him to speed up. Suddenly a car left the road, ran over a street sign, and stopped a few dozen feet in front of us on the sidewalk. We might have been at that spot if John had been persuaded to truck along. The driver was a mom who said she was trying to swat her kid in the backseat when she left the road.
When I was thirty-seven, I was driving with a bunch of kids in my car. Suddenly I felt very unsafe and prayed out loud for protection. Immediately after that prayer a car that passed me swerved into the other lane and hit the car behind me head-on. Was that my guardian angel, or what?
When I was teaching some of our kids to drive we had a close one on the highway. Let's just say that the individual lost control of the car, swerved back and forth several times and then spun around and stopped facing the semis coming towards us. It was perhaps fortunate that it was nighttime, since our headlights helped alert the oncoming traffic that something was wrong. Needless to say I said some fast, screaming prayers, and those semis managed to go by us, one on each side.
So without much digging, I've managed to think of nine times my life was in danger of ending. It can happen any time to anyone. Each day is a gift.