I'm glad to be writing this blog entry on Saturday, April 24, because Friday, April 16, could have easily been my last living day.
Friday afternoon, 4:15pm, my wife Sandy and I were driving up northbound 167 freeway to downtown Seattle. Cars abruptly slowed in front of us, and we came to a complete stop in the middle lane.
Relieved that I had stopped in time, I glanced into my rear-view mirror, and in a split second, saw something I have never seen before nor ever want to see again - a car hurtling at us at full freeway speed. We were about to become the first collision in what would involve seven cars in the fateful seconds ahead.
I shouted, "No!" and braced against the seat, as it slammed into us full speed. Sandy heard me shout and turned her head to look behind, just as the car hit us. This head-turn cost her dearly. As I write this, she is still unable to walk, with injuries and tremendous pain in her neck, back, shoulder, hip, and knee. They carried her away from the scene in a stretcher, and she is still on her back. For the past eight days, I have been tending to her needs, and praying for her full recovery.
In addition to the injuries, four cars were totaled, including our own, and the highway was shut down for at least an hour. Here's a link to the story: KING5: Accident shuts down northbound SR 167
Now more than ever, I'm thankful that one can't get a driver's license without becoming a certified "driving disciple." Driver's education, along with the six-month permit program, the knowledge test, and the driving test all form a sort of discipleship program that certifies we know what we need to know and do what we need to do when behind the wheel. My wife and I would be much better off today if the fellow driving behind us obeyed the "two second rule," something I remember and follow since I learned it in driver's ed a quarter century ago. And while I can complain about the fact that this fellow didn't follow that rule, I must remember that a million times a day, drivers all over the United States do. They give enough space for safety, and stop in time. It's the reason we're not all in hospital beds today.
Discipleship saves lives, on asphalt freeways and metaphorical roads as well. Just like good training keeps us from wrecking our cars, good training keeps us from marriage, career, and health wrecks too. When the husband obeys God's command and resists the temptation to commit adultery, he spares himself, his family, and the other woman from a head-on collision. Right knowledge and behavior improves the quality of his life and the lives of the people he loves.
Jesus gave us his life mission in the book of John, chapter ten: "I have come," he said, "that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Then he gave us the Great Commission in Matthew, chapter twenty-eight: "make disciples of every nation...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded." I think the mission of abundant life and the commission of discipleship are connected. We live better lives when we aren't getting into wrecks. Jesus made the case for a sort of spiritual driver's ed, so that we could travel the road of life, full of purpose, without the tragedy of a seven-car pileup.
about erik van alstine
Erik is a change expert and author of the personal finance discipleship system, Breaking Free: Financial Strategies that Transform Debt into Wealth. Breaking Free is like driver's ed in your financial life, a powerful video curriculum that offers experiential learning, assessment, and transformation! Take our free MoneyFinder Quiz to see just how much payoff Breaking Free can create for you!