Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Crash

Allow me to share some of the recent adventures in my life.

I was in a serious automobile accident a week and a half ago in my 2003 Ford Escape. Let me first say that I am fine (most importantly). It was Thursday, December 21st, and I had been meeting with a student named Jacob for coffee at Starbucks. As we were sitting by the window at Starbucks having an awesome talk as student and youth pastor, we noticed that big flakes of snow were painting the ground outside. It was coming down fast. It had been raining all day, and the ground was cool enough for the snow to stick immediately. It came time for us to go and we headed out into our snowy world.

I entered highway 61 from 80th street traveling south-east. The snow/water/ice mixture was forming a sort of hard slush. About a quarter of a mile south of 80th, I hit a patch of slush that was jettisoning out into my lane. I was not driving fast, but we started skidding. I was familiar with correcting a skid, as I am no stranger to driving in bad weather. I had many times defensively driven out of a skid. This one was different though. For whatever reason, we began to slide sideways into the ditch. I remember saying to Jacob "Hold on!" as we were sliding into the ditch and facing the way we came. At one point we began to roll. We rolled one and a quarter times and ended up on the driver's side door. I said to Jacob, "You okay!?" to which he replied, "Yeah, you?!" I was. The passenger's side window had shattered. I helped Jacob get his seat belt off and get situated. There were already people there checking on us. We climbed up, out the passenger's side window and jumped down into the ditch. I called 911, and then my wife, then the person I was supposed to be meeting next, then the insurance company. Jacob called his parents.

The roof was partially caved in. The SUV was in pretty bad shape. It turned out to be totaled. For such a bad accident, it is amazing to me that we both walked away without a scratch on us. I credit God (please, get to know him if you don't already), seat belts (please, wear them if you don't already), and safe cars (they are worth the money). Looking back the moment was kind of surreal. It seemed to happen both very fast and in slow-motion. I remember Jacob's coffee spilling on me as we rolled (which turned out to smell like puke when it gets on your clothes...what's that about?). I remember adrenaline taking over. I don't remember the window shattering, or when we first leaned into the first roll, or smashing over the fence. It is interesting to think back on such an event and remember all of the things that happened.

It turned out that the insurance company was great (hooray Allstate!) and is giving me a great settlement. The cop who came out was great. Jacob and his parent were cool. Friends called to check on me. We planned to leave the next day for Ohio to visit Angela's family...so a friend let me borrow his car for the 2,000 mile round trip. All in all, God really took care of me in this whole ordeal. And to think that I sometimes have a problem trusting fully in God.

A friend emailed me today and said, "You should be looking for God to do something special in and through you, soon. These things do not happen by chance." That is quite a thing to be reminded from an ordeal like this. I'm here for a reason. There is work left for me to do. Bring it on.

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