Gilland: A flood of thoughts on I-75

Wet windshield on road
Wet windshield on road

As many of us do, I was driving recently on I-75 between Gainesville and Orlando when I found myself immersed in one of those notorious red cell rain storms.

Without exaggerating, I felt I couldn’t see more than 100 feet in front of me. Of course, all traffic slowed, and we were all about survival. It was in that moment that I was struck. Thankfully, not by a truck, but by a thought… How many times have I been completely stopped on I-75 due to an accident, one that occurred in a similar downpour, and sadly, a life was lost due to a collision with another vehicle.

Naturally, I began to pray…and pray hard. In fact, my prayers were about as intense as was my squeeze on my steering wheel! I know that one day, my life will end, and it will all be over. I just wasn’t ready for that day—not yet anyway.

Fortunately, that blinding rain was short-lived, and I made it safely to my destination. I was never more grateful to arrive in one piece.

In a real way, we all need to have such a wakeup call in our lives, one that makes us think about the eternal things that are most important. Such considerations rarely come on the sunny days, when there isn’t a cloud in the sky, and only a slight breeze moving through the air.

No, they tend to come on those days where we feel threatened within an inch of our lives, like those moments when I was in that rain storm.

I heard a quote once that rings true in my heart: “We should live today in light of that day.”

Now, what the speaker meant by “that day” is the inevitable day of our transition to eternity. How true that is. If I could live with my eyes stretching beyond the right now and into the future, that vision just might temper how I live, or alter the decisions that I might make.

Having such a forward glance into the future saved Joseph from the horrors of an unjust imprisonment. He turned into one of the great leaders in the Old Testament, yet his life was marked by unfortunate events that ultimately led to this wrongful sentence and incarceration.

Even still, he kept his eyes looking forward to God, trusting in His will. From the time of his youth, he was graced by God with an extraordinary ability to discern dreams and visions, a gift that ultimately brought him out of prison and into an exalted place of authority—second only to Pharaoh.

Another evidence of living with an eye to things really important is found in the account of the sons of Issachar (see 1 Chronicles 12:32), of whom it was said “…they understood the times and knew what to do…”

So, a good thing can come from a scary experience…like what happened to me on I-75. May the inevitable events that are coming in the future never be out of sight, and may they temper the way that we live our lives…today. May we clearly see that living according to God’s purposes through Jesus will make that day in the future a welcome sight indeed.

Drive safely now, you hear!

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