Life Flashes By.

There are moments, and hopefully they are few, when life itself flashes before your eyes.  In a split second, your entire body is tensed with a rush of fear and adrenaline, preparing to survive at all costs.  An immediate danger has entered into the present circumstance, and you have to meet it, ready or not.  Such a danger presented itself to me this past Saturday night.

I was returning home from Santa Barbara after an incredibly enjoyable visit, seeing a production of The Christmas Carol and having drinks with a few friends afterwards.  It just so happened that there was quite a bit of rain that was passing through Southern California on Saturday, and I had the wonderful privilege of driving in it.  Huge droplets of rain pelted the windshield, the wipers furiously waving them away with their swift motions.  I firmly held onto the wheel with both hands, aware from the start of the journey that I would need to pay especially close attention to the road.

I passed through Carpinteria, on the way out of the vicinity of Santa Barbara and towards Ventura.  This is about when it all went wrong.

I turned the music off to concentrate.  A few minutes later, I hit a patch of water and the car immediately began spinning like a top.  It completed a full 360 degree spin before crashing into the center median, which was thankfully made up of only grass, thick brush, and mud.  As the car came to a stop...I sat there for what seemed to be several long seconds, completely in shock at what had just occurred.  I quickly took a self-assessment, making sure I wasn't injured.  Fortunately I wasn't.

I immediately called my dad, telling him what had happened and trying to figure out where I was.  He contacted AAA and we began the process of arranging for a tow truck to come.  I had tried getting out of the spot I crashed in, only to hear the wheels spin.  A tow truck would be necessary.  As I stayed on the phone with AAA, the fire dept. arrived in a large engine, along with a smaller truck.  A firefighter exited and I handed him the phone, to give AAA the exact area where I had crashed.  He was able to tell AAA where I was exactly, and helpfully laid some flares down on the road.  They then took off, saying that they would probably be getting more calls.  No doubt.

I waited about 30 minutes for the tow truck to come.  It arrived, and the tow truck guy named Jacques begin to hook up my car.  He was an extremely friendly and overall nice guy, and I'm certainly indebted to him for all his help.  After pulling the car off the hill, I was able to see the damage.  A side panel that ran along the bottom edge of the car from the front to rear tires had come off, but was still in one piece.  One tire was flat, with another slowly leaking.  Other than that, my car had survived...albeit covered in brush and mud.

Upon getting home, I hugged my parents for the longest time.  I was so deeply thankful to God for being alive, that He had indeed protected me.  I began to think about what would have happened had my car flown in the other direction.  To the right.  I would have hit the guardrail, after which lies only railroad tracks and ocean.  I would have been seriously injured if not dead.

I know with certainty that my family's prayers of protection during my trip to and from Santa Barbara were answered that night.  I'm so thankful that I will be able to spend this Christmas with my family, that I will be able to see all of my friends again.  We don't realize how delicate and precious life is until something like this happens.  It is unfortunate that this is the case, because we so often believe that we will be around forever, or at least until we are old.  We must make sure that the days we do have are spent fruitfully.  After seeing my own life flash by, I want to make these days count.