Follow by Email

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What now

I don't know what made me turn the steering wheel over to Sarah that April afternoon in 2004. If you know me, you know I like to drive. Whether we were running across town or across the state, when you met our family, you would typically find me behind the wheel. It's still pretty much the case today with Lisa.

I guess maybe it was the reality that Easter Sunday was just two days away. There was still much to be done to ready myself for what is one of the biggest days in the Christian community. So, I took advantage of Sarah's offer to drive the balance of the trip so I could focus on my message for Easter.

One of the worst realities to deal with in the days that followed the wreck was this one...I should have been behind the wheel. On any other day--in any other situation--it would have been me who was driving our van. And maybe, just maybe, I could have survived the impact of that vehicle.

There are a lot of "what ifs" about that day. What if we had gone home our usual route? What if we hadn't stayed so long at the bookstore in Savannah? What if the kids had not needed to stop for a break or what if we had never gone in the first place? Would Sarah and Josh still be here? Or was this something that was meant to happen regardless of where we were and despite all the "what ifs" we could consider?

I can't honestly tell you the answer to those questions. I can tell you this, though. All the "what ifs" in the world will leave you paralyzed. It is the "what now" that got my life back on track and forced me to breathe again after the accident. In asking God "what now" I was able to see a greater purpose for my life, to hear His voice again and to embrace whatever it was that God was going to do through Harrison, Abby and me.

The lesson we all have to learn in our lives is that failure is never final as long as there is God. I failed to protect my wife and son that day, despite my best efforts to do so. Despite a great car seat for Josh or a safe van for our family, I failed to protect them as I had promised to do. But God challenges all of us in the midst of failures and setbacks to ask Him the life-changing, life-bringing question..."God, what now?" But we must be ready to hear...and to move.

3 comments:

hold_fast061706 said...

that one hit home... I'm a "What If", "Why" person I like to ask all the impossible questions. Those questions drive me crazy!

Anonymous said...

I don't believe you failed to protect them. You didn't break a promise, You just had no way of knowing.
Michele Jenkins

Derrick said...

Ridley...my name is Derrick and I am a nurse at St. Thomas Hospital here in Nashville, TN. I participated in our facilities' Safety Coach Training and your ministry video was shared with us as a close to the day--WOW! Brother, God has enabled and provided you with some amazing strength!

Your testimony and ministry has really opened my eyes to be conscientious of my patients, their families, and my clinical practice. Thank you! If there is anything I can do to help enrich your ministry, please feel free to contact me at dash2206@yahoo.com.

Blessings,

Derrick