March 1, 2013

Choices Lead to Critical Events

"It's your choice...choice....choice....choice....choice..."

Do we really understand how our choices affect our lives? Until today, I didn't understand. I still don't...but I do have a deeper grasp of the concept. A series of events occurred today, which could have changed my life and my friend's life dramatically. So many decisions led to one critical event that changed my outlook on choice and consequence.

It all started with a humble offering by my bedside this morning. I was in a bit of a rush, but I said a quick prayer anyways. Fast forward a bit to a conversation. My friend told me about this simulation of a car accident, and how one of our friends was playing dead. We joked and laughed about the elaborate ordeal. Then we told my other friend, who we will call Rebecca, who also knew this friend.

I carpool with Rebecca, and on our way home, we were discussing this simulation, and how our lives would be changed if it were real and our friend really had died in a car accident. We were so engrossed in the conversation that I missed my turn and had to take the longer way to Rebecca's stop.

I pulled into the mostly empty parking lot, annoyed by two boys who were staring at us as we drove by. They seemed to glare at us, as if they were upset we weren't their ride. Rebecca made a comment about them, and as she did so, I looked forward. Ahead, the lot was clear except for a few cars. Then it happened, the critical event. As the nose of my car drove by it, a white car began to back up very quickly. My hands tightened around the steering wheel and I swerved into empty spaces to avoid a collision. As I drove by, I looked out the passenger window to see inches separating my car from its bumper.

What would have happened had I not prayed this morning? What would have happened had I not missed the turn? What would have happened if we had collided? Would I have been injured? Would Rebecca have been injured, or even worse, killed?  There are so many different ways this story could have played out with so many other consequences. But I am so grateful that the only consequences were some shaken nerves and a good story, that my choices today influenced that event to have a happier ending.

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