Almost a year ago—on December 16, 2015—I was travelling to Seattle to visit family and friends when I was involved in a serious car accident. My car was totaled, but I was uninjured. No one else was seriously injured either.
Twenty-three years earlier—in mid-December 1992—I was travelling to Seattle through a snowstorm on my way to visit friends and family. On the Hope Bridge I was involved in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer heading north. We hit left front to left front, and my car was spun around. I ended up facing northeast behind the semi, and the driver of the semi came to see the seriously injured or dead person in the car that was totaled.
The entire left front of my car was smashed in, but I was trying to kick open the passenger door on my Nissan 200SX. I had a minor cut on my left knee and a stiff neck for a couple of days. The co-driver of the semi was in the sleeper, and was off work for six weeks with injuries. It is difficult to understand how I could have survived two such accidents unscathed.
Since December last year I have been able to spend Christmas with my son, his wife, and my two wonderful grandchildren. I have been able to spend time at my son’s cabin, with both of my sons and their families. I have shared many experiences with family and friends. I have enjoyed tennis and slow-pitch softball with friends throughout the past year.
Some may call this random chance or happenstance, but I cannot. I have had the opportunity to watch the sun rise and set more than three hundred times since my last accident, and to witness the beauty of God’s creation, and I give thanks to Him every day for the special gift that He has given me.
As we approach the Christmas season I felt compelled to share the reason for the season as I have experienced it. I have watched as they have tried to do away with Christmas over the past few years, and I see the Happy Holidays cards in the stores. I find it more difficult to find Christmas cards which celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. When you take Christ out of Christmas you must also remove St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, and all of the other festivities that mark the holiday (Holy Day).
On a day 2049 years ago, a child was born who was to impact the entire world. This is reflected in the change of our calendar. Any date after His life is noted as AD. Was He anyone special, or just the son of a lowly carpenter and a teenage mother? He grew up as any child would, and we know very little of His life before He became thirty.
Over a period of three years He journeyed with a small group of friends around a small area, sharing His thoughts with whoever might choose to listen, often gathering large crowds to witness the things that He did and said. The religious and political leaders
of the day did not understand Him, and so they plotted to kill Him. Although they could find no charge against Him, they tried, convicted, and executed Him in the cruelest way possible, crucifixion.
That in itself is not unusual; but what happened next is incredible. Three days later He was seen alive, and over a period of a bit more than a month many saw Him. He spoke with them and even ate with them. Finally He disappeared before their very eyes, ascending into the sky.
You have all heard the story of the man named Jesus, and you may or may not choose to believe it. I only know that on a day in December twenty-four years ago, when I saw that the semi was across the centre line and I knew that the collision was imminent, I spoke to my Lord Jesus and said that if it was my time to go I was ready. I completely relaxed as we collided. A second time, twenty-three years later, I was again protected in another collision. Coincidence? I think not.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be a thorn in the side of our school board over the renaming of our school, for treasured time with family, friends, and neighbours, and for all of the adventures and challenges that life affords each day. I now look toward each day as a new adventure. I say “This is the day the Lord has made, let me rejoice and be glad in it.”
I am so thankful for the opportunity to wish each of you out there a Merry Christmas. I would like to ask each of you—whatever your beliefs may be—to take a moment over the next month, amid the hustle and bustle that accompanies the season, to reflect on a man called Jesus.