One of my favorite quotes from N. D. Wilson:

How many cars have you ever passed on the road? How many headlights have snapped by you going the opposite direction? Millions.

How many potential fatalities exist on every drive that you have ever taken? Hundreds (even on the short ones).

  • We paint a line (sometimes) and agree to stay on opposite sides as we hurtle along in tons of metal flung by explosions.
  • We fly through the sky strapped to turbines screaming with power and expect to coast down safely on the air.
  • We live on a ball of molten rock hurtling through outer space, invisibly leashed to a massive orb of flame. It is steered by Whom?

How many super-volcanoes have wiped us all out? None.

How many earthquakes have killed us all? I’m still here. You? How many could have?

As the earth screams through space, balanced exactly on the edge of everyone burning alive and everyone freezing solid, as we shriek through deadly obstacle courses of meteor showers and find them picturesque, as the nearest fiery star vomits eruptions hundreds of times bigger that our wee planet (giving chipper local weathermen northern lights to chatter about), as a giant reflective rock glides around us slopping the seas (and never falls down), and as we ride in our machines, darting past fools and drunks and texting teenagers, how many times do we thank God?

We are always in His hands, but we often feel like we are in our own. We can’t thank Him for every breath and every heartbeat, but we can thank Him every day for not splatting us with the moon or letting us drop into the sun.

When a drunk crushes some family, some mother, some friend; when a story ends, then we wake up. Then we turn to God with confused expressions, wanting to know why He was sleeping in the boat. He brought us here from nothing; is He ever allowed to take us to an exit? His own Son died young; do you think He doesn’t understand?

Moses didn’t see the Promised Land.

Samson died blind in the rubble.

Stephen beneath stones.

Paul without a head.

Peter upside down.

In a bed or on the battlefield or on asphalt in shattered glass beneath a flashing light, we are God’s stories to end.

How many drunks has He spared you from? Thank Him before you ask to be spared from another.

How many breaths have you drawn? How many winter winds have tightened your skin? How many Christmases have you seen? How many times has the sky swirled glory above your head like a benediction?

See it. Hear Him. Thank Him. Ask for more. Search for moments in your story for which you can be grateful.

Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent