Last week was, arguably, the worst week I’ve ever experienced. As a school teacher, I have that unconditional love for my students, even when I am conscious of the desire to wring their necks. My case is worse, as I have teenagers; the hooligans with the rushing hormones. Last week, the moon must have been full because my children were out of control. The children’s behavior climaxed at the end of the week and I sent a round of students home with punishments. Discouraged, stressed, and tired, I headed home.
And then it happened. I was pulling out from a stop sign (after having looked both ways) and was slammed by an on-coming car. I spun down the road and (after driving south) stopped heading East and he flew into a yard. My car is a mess and his was completely totalled. I have never experienced anything like that. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized how hard I was hit. I could hardly move and I was still so shaken up. During some time with Jesus, I realized something.
I remember seeing him come out of nowhere. I remember thinking, “My God, he’s going so fast.” But, the next thing I remember is realizing I had been hit and my car was probably badly broken. Had circumstances been a little different, had he been coming from a different way and maybe going a little faster, the outcome may have been completely different. My last thought could have been, “My God, he’s going so fast.” I don’t remember him actually hitting me. I don’t remember my car spinning down the road. It was like I skipped a moment in time. But, what if there hadn’t been another moment in time.
I always try, sometime during my busy and stressful days, to stop for a few moments and pray to Saint Joseph for a happy death. I frequently remind myself that, if my last moment comes, to make some divine ejaculation to the Holy Spirit. I thought I would remember. I did not. Had that been my final moments in this life, I would have failed to pray to the Father for my immortal soul. It really is true that we don’t know when our last moments will be, even when we may be in our last moments.
I am still shaken. I hesitate to get behind the wheel tomorrow to drive to work. I haven’t slept in two nights because everytime I close my eyes, the accident plays itself repeatedly in my head. But, I learned something. As with all life’s events, big and small, I took away a lesson. I must live my life for that moment. Because, God forbid, if it come sooner than expected, I don’t want my last thought to be what ruins me forever. I must prepare my spiritual resume in case the end is seconds long.
So much has changed over the last four months. I am appalled at what a path my life has taken. I never would have seen myself where I am four months ago. As always, God sends more Crosses, but one unexpected blessing has come into my corner as well. All of this sumersaulted through my head Friday night and Saturday. With all of these Divine love notes, I must slow down. I need to live my life for Him, doing His will. I know enough to realize that my Father doesn’t want me worrying about daily stresses. He doesn’t like me running myself ragged. He wants me to calm down, take it slow, and focus on what matters. In this way, I can prepare for that day when the final moments come. And I will be sure that my soul is prepared, whether or not my thoughts are quite as quick.