Let My Laughter Resound!
“I THINK I AM GOING TO MAKE IT!”
As is true of many pastors, I was accustomed to working ‘hard and long hours’. I was, at the time of this particular incident, rather young, and I was full of enthusiasm and zeal to ‘advance the work of the Lord’. Up until the time of the following incident, I had spent many nights in the home of many couples, presenting to them the ‘plan of salvation’.
I did many other ‘things’ in my pastorate, but the winning of souls (through the presentation of the ‘plan’ on a one-to-one basis) – this activity, though it required lots of time and energy (and boldness) – was the ‘meat and potatoes’ of my ministry.
I loved to see sinners converted (in their home, right before my very eyes). Seldom did I spend time with my wife and my growing daughters in the evenings. I was out in the neighborhoods, evangelizing the lost ones, with the homes of sinners as the context for evangelism, and with my handy ‘flip chart’ as my helpful ‘visual aid’ as I presented God’s wonderful salvation ‘plan’!
It was not unusual for me to be in some sinner’s home, for a ‘salvation by appointment’ Bible study. I personally led approximately 300 adults (sinners) to Christ, in the context of people’s homes! What was unusual on the particular night that is the present ‘focus’ for this account, is the fact that I was presenting the ‘plan’ to a couple, using my own church office as the context for the ‘salvation by appointment’ Bible study. I finished my presentation of the ‘Salvation plan’ about 10:00 p.m.
Admittedly, I was a ‘little’ tired, after a long day of work, but, nevertheless, I was thankful that God gave me another opportunity to share the plan of salvation with another couple. I found great joy in soul – winning. It was rather late (probably near 10 p.m.) when the couple finally left my office. I called my wife and I told her that soon I would be home.
For some reason, I used my old bike as my means of transportation for that evening. Occasionally, I enjoyed riding my old (one gear) bike, rather than using my car for transportation. I lived about two miles from the Free Methodist Church (and my church office).
From a conscientious viewpoint (and possibly from a legal viewpoint), I had ‘no business’ riding my bike during night time hours. I had no idea, when I started out on my bike, from my office, that I would soon be involved in what could have been a fatal accident. In spite of my own failure (in riding my bike at night, with no lights), I believe that God (perhaps His protecting angel) was watching over me on that particular night.
Even though I was relatively young in age, I was rather tired in body, and I was anxious to get to my home in the shortest time possible. When I came to a main highway (about one mile from my home), I violated one of the most ‘basic rules’ of biking! Instead of crossing the highway, and riding on a large sidewalk that paralleled the highway – on the right side of the highway – I decided that I would take, what to me, was a shortcut. I rode on the left side of the highway (where there was no wide sidewalk). This mistake (this breaking the law) gave me a ‘serious consequence’ (and it gave some other human being also a ‘serious consequence’)!
It was a ‘dark night’, and I (foolishly) rode my old (solid) bike, on the wrong side of the highway. The traffic (of cars) was ‘heavy’ that particular night. AII I could see as I continued to ride on that opposite side of the road (opposite from where I should have been riding), I say, all that I could see were the blinding and bright car headlights.
After riding my bike about 50 yards (on the wrong side of the highway), I collided, head on, with another biker. This biker, traveling quite fast on a multi-speed bike, properly had lights on his bike. Because he was riding on the proper side of the highway, he had full ‘right-of-way’.
He was totally ‘right’ in everything he did (how he rode), and I was totally ‘wrong’ in everything I did (no lights on my bike, and riding on the wrong side of the highway). (When I considered the fact that I was so ‘wrong’ – breaking the ‘law’ – I am grateful that I serve a ‘God of mercy’, not simply a ‘God of justice’).
As a result of this ‘head-on collision’, I was knocked out, and the man whom I hit was also knocked out! Strangely, and providentially, an off-duty police officer came upon the scene of the accident. Both I and the man I hit were lying, unconscious, at the side of the road.
I could have been dead, for when I hit the other bike, I could have been thrown into the heavy traffic, buzzing back and forth just a few feet from where I hit the other bike. Instead, God allowed for my body and for the body of the other man to land away from the ongoing traffic!
This off-duty police officer ‘happened’ to be live just a few doors from my home! I knew him, as a neighbor. He was a believer. He, of course, arranged for an ambulance to come to the scene of the accident. He knew that this might be a serious accident.
The first thing that I remember hearing, when I began to gain consciousness, was the interchange conversation between the ambulance attendants. One attendant said to another (regarding me): “Be careful not to move his neck, It may be broken!”
The off-duty police officer, after he called for an ambulance, made his way to the front door of my home, to inform my wife (and daughters) of the accident. I must say (at this point) that I believe there may be times (perhaps many times) when God (Holy Spirit) moves and directs and protects and communicates – ‘below the visible surface’ of a particular event.
What I next report, ‘sends a chill down my spine’, Venita said that, when she heard the loud siren of the ambulance, a short time before, she knew that I had been involved in an accident!
Of course, I did not know at the scene of the accident, but I learned later that (logically) both myself and the other man whom I injured, were brought to the same hospital (obviously), in the same ambulance! I learned that both he and I sustained the same type of injury – namely, a cracked jaw!
It was clear (after knowing all the details regarding the accident) that I was totally ‘at fault’ for the accident. I felt sorry because of the discomfort (injury) that the other man sustained. I never met him, but I understood that he worked at King’s Soopers Grocery Store (not too far from my home).
I often wondered if I saw this man at the store, without knowing of his unique identity. My Home Owner’s Policy took care of the needed financial settlements. I am thankful that I was not personally sued, because of my ‘stupid’ (impulsive) actions!
When my wife and teenage daughters got to the emergency room, I was a little ‘unsteady’ in my speech and mannerisms. The first question that my wife asked me was: “How are you doing?” Then, in a deep voice, tinged with a little ‘humor’, I replied: ‘I THINK I AM GOING TO MAKE IT!’
Thank God, I did make it through that harrowing experience! The doctor wanted to, ‘wire shut my mouth’, to allow the cracked jaw bone more quickly to heal. I responded, “Nothing doing. I want to eat food, and I need my mouth to enable me to preach!” The doctor did not insist, and before long I was healed totally! God, again, was very merciful to me!
God enabled me to express a little ‘humor’, even during the time when I had verily arrived at the hospital emergency room. “I think I am going to make it” was a response to my wife, salted with a tinge of humor!
Many times since that long-ago event, when I have been asked by my wife, during a difficulty I am facing (physical illness or a different kind of challenge that is not morally charged or physically endangering), I say, when I have been asked by my wife about my welfare, I will respond ‘I think I am going to make it!’
‘I think I am going to make it!’ – that has been my ‘standard reply’, and my wife and I have enjoyed the ‘humor’ that is inherent in the statement (all because of my time in the emergency room).
“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”