I was recently involved in a car wreck. It was a clear, crisp morning camouflaged in the ordinary. I made my way to a typical 9-5 shift, taking the typical streets and stopping at the typical signs and slowing in the typical school zones.
Suddenly a car was coming into my lane, not quite aware of my presence.
Typically when this occurs, there is time. There is time to brake or to swerve or to accelerate. To honk. There was no time. For one brief second I saw his car start to drift in my direction and then…Boom.
The left front side of my car gave way. The force of impact sent the opposing front side of my car into a parked uninhabited vehicle, which (apparently) flew off the curb onto a sidewalk. All I recall after initial impact is the sensations and sounds of chaos. I had no control of my car for a good 10-15 seconds.
Oh how seconds can change everything.
Thank you God for the parked vehicle being uninhabited. Thank you God for the parked vehicle being uninhabited. Thank you God for the parked vehicle being uninhabited.
Had there been no vehicle to embrace the force of our collision there is a good chance a large tree nearby would have instead embraced my vehicle. Had there been a person in the vehicle that did embrace the force of our collision, he could very much be dead or in a coma. Had I worked an hour earlier or later, the collision would’ve been avoided entirely. There are a million “had there”, “could’ve been” and “would’ve been” situations that conjure into my imagination constantly.
Perhaps if the collision wouldn’t have occurred, my car would’ve tragically blown up a week later. “No mechanic could’ve planned it!” they’d say. The combustion was simply an unaccounted for defect with the model. “She was a good friend and a devoted servant to the Lord” (I hope) they’d say. My family would offer (preferably) sunflowers to my grave on the anniversary of my death for years to come, softening the ground I lay beneath with sorrow. “Parents should never mourn their children” they’d say to my mother and father.
I could go on. I constantly think of what could be and what could’ve been. The implications of anxiety. I’m always guessing the end of my narrative. It’s pitiful really, attempting to forsee the unforeseeable.
There’s no editing my story. The good and bad that will come out of it are to be defined later. There is no way I could’ve altered my timeline. Everything about my recent tragedy was out of my control. How frightening, yet simultaneously comforting. In a way, I think the driver responsible for my accident has formed into a symbol of most uncontrollable forces in my life.
What an emotional release there is when you give way to what will unpredictably be and not what may. I think there is great power in this. There is a time to take reign of your future and there is a time not to. For me, that time not to is at this moment.
Today I believe I am not the writer of my story, merrily a piece of a grand plan or perhaps a million different plans simultaneously. Today I accept and trust that the phoenix that encompasses my current life will rise ferociously from the ashes.
Today I accept the unpreventable.
Today I trust tragedy.
Cheers to the unforeseeable. Cheers to the lack of control.