99.9% of the moments in our lives are forgettable. They pass by unnoticed as they merge into the monotony of a day. These moments mark the insignificant events of our lives and are then forgotten. The other 0.1% of moments are etched into our minds. These are the moments that determine the direction of our lives. We remember these pivotal moments not because of the events contained therein, but because of the changes that they bring to our lives. They occur suddenly, without warning and we are generally helpless in the face of them. In our youth we seek memorable moments, but as we age we learn to appreciate those moments that are worthy of being forgotten.
These thoughts came to me in the moments following the near miss of a life changer. The cupboards were getting bare waiting on our next paycheck. So Dawit and I headed to Chatham Marketplace to restock. The day was routine, forgettable. On the way home, I like to take the scenic route down Pittsboro-Moncure road. It’s a long winding road, as all good scenic routes should be. As we drove Dawit napped peacefully in his car seat and my mind wandered in and out of daydreams. We entered one sharp turn and a driver in the oncoming lane, apparently caught up in daydreams of his own, missed the turn and came into our lane. In that moment I was helpless. I could do nothing but instinctively reach for the brake, brace myself, and wait for the impact that this moment would make in my and Dawit’s lives. Thankfully, the driver of the other car awoke from his dream just in the nick of time and this moment became blissfully forgettable.
Many life changing moments in our lives are tragic, but not all. Those moments containing the words “I do” and “it’s a boy” are some of the most joyous. Even those marked by suffering and pain should not be feared, “for we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God”.
We follow different paths throughout our lives. In the end we must realize that though we choose some paths, many paths are chosen for us. Nevertheless, our lives consist of the steps we take as we walk down those paths.
“I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11