Monday, April 26, 2010

Experiences

We all have experiences that we remember at some time in our lives that may have had a significant impact in our lives that caused us to make a change or to at least, step back for a moment and re-evaluate what's going on in our lives. 


The first one I will share really has no dynamic impact in the outcome of my life as it is today, but it is something I now know, I will never forget. I believe it was in the early 90's when we were on a church retreat in Columbus, OH. I was the Youth Director at the time and it was one of our annual meetings, setting dates and planning for growth.  It was in the fall and very windy. This day in particular caught my attention because there was a flagpole that was almost doubled over. It had a huge flag attached and it was almost touching the ground. I stood there in amazement how the pole was able to withstand the strength of the wind pulling that flag downward. I just knew that pole was going to snap...but it held, and stood upright when the winds calmed. Until that moment, I never saw anything like that before...as flagpoles go. That thought triggers many other memories from that time....


The second experience I want to share, has been life changing for me. This one is going back aways...early 70's. I was dating this really hot chick and we always had a good time together. That was back in my wildin' days....every day was a party. Well, we were out late one night. My cousin was with me and my girl brought a friend along, sort of a double date kind of a thing. We had a few drinks and decided to head out to another location. My girl was driving, we were in an industrial area with rail road crossings. I wasn't really paying attention about her driving because there was no traffic, and it was dark, but I did notice she was picking up speed. I was looking out the passenger window and sort of in a daze anyway. You see, I thought I was staring at the side of a building, but what it had turned out to be was a train with box cars stacked. It was at that moment I realized we were almost at the front of the train....all I could do was yell for her to stop!!! 


At that moment, I realized I had a second chance at life and I was going to take it. I decided to call it quits with ole girl. Good times....but life was more important to me. Did I find God right away after that?...no...but, I did begin a new chapter in my life. I began to settle down and to look at things a lot different than I had before. Even now, I think of the kids--now grown--and the grandkids with another coming soon...


Looking back on that now, without a doubt, I was given a second chance at life. We came within 5 feet of making contact with that train. My cousin and I talked about that during those days, we laughed about it, and we both were very thankful to be able to continue on in life. I have so much to be thankful for. I have had other experiences that have created new chapters for me, but you know how it can be...sometimes it's a "simple" and "traumatic" experience that sometimes go hand in hand. When I think of the flagpole experience it reminds me of those days as the Youth Director...I remember the plays we had, the car washes, and of course there was Bible study and prayer meetings. Good times....all because I was given an earlier experience in life to remember.  






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