Also a few years ago the boys and I were driving up our local mountain to have breakfast with Mark who was riding his bike to the top of the mountain. We pulled up on an accident scene with a cyclist. Helicopters were landing when I had this heavy sense that it was Mark. Our oldest said a prayer for his daddy to be protected and then we soon found out that it was Mark lying in the road. He had crashed his bike at a high rate of speed (38mph or so if I remember correctly) and was being airlifted off the mountain.
Turns out he had nothing more than some severe road rash and a broken collarbone. I praised god and his angels up and down for protecting Mark and I wholeheartedly believed that because the holy spirit had given me the premonition to stop and pray Mark had been protected by his angels. Today I see the lack of validity in those claims. At that time I was so afraid of Mark cycling and with every ambulance I heard on the mountain my stomach would sink and I would throw up prayers that it not be Mark. This situation was no different. I saw cyclists flying down the mountain at speeds over 40mph, I heard the helicopters, and I did what I always did. Feared and prayed.
Many times since that accident on the mountain I have still said the prayers. And then I laugh because I realize I am speaking to a god strictly out of habit. Not due to belief. It’s one of those deprogramming bits that I still need to do.
Today I was driving the boys to their physical therapy appointment and Mark was riding his bike to work. I was approaching an intersection and saw ambulances and fire engines also approaching and the fear that Mark should be right around this area crossed my mind. I didn’t send up any false prayers this time but that little yucky feeling sat in the pit of my stomach for those few seconds before I saw Mark lying on the side of the road. Sure enough Mark had been hit by a car this morning and we were pulling up on the scene. Fortunately he survived the accident with a beat up elbow, sore muscles and shaken nerves but nothing more.
I learned a few things about my growth this morning. First of all I recognized that there is no holy spirit feeding me warnings about Mark crashing. I realized that any time I know Mark is supposed to be riding a certain street and I see flashing emergency lights I automatically get a sick feeling of fear. I don’t want it to be him or any other cyclist. Today was the first time I didn’t start begging god to send his angels to ride next to Mark. To protect him from all harm. I realized I’ve been saying prayers after he’s been hit anyhow:) Today was the first time I evaluated that our lives are just a series of choices and circumstances. Mark rides his bike to and from work (during peak traffic hours) all the time so his chances of being hit are higher. Chances are accidents will happen. And they are just that…accidents.
That brings me to the second area of growth that I have had. I used to be a lot angrier. I felt like justice was one of the greatest gifts god would give one day. I was able to assess today’s situation calmly, approach the woman who hit Mark, give her a hug and reassure her that we understand that these things happen. I’m very aware of cyclists and I still could’ve made the mistake that she did. She was very humble and extremely honest about what happened which makes being kind to her easier than if she had denied her fault in this and ranted about “her hate of cyclists”. But for baby steps this one was good for me. I experienced deep empathy for her knowing that she felt horrible and felt scared that she could’ve badly injured someone or worse yet killed him. If I had been in her shoes I would hope that the cyclist and his family could be empathetic toward me as well. I believe I still would’ve felt this way toward her even if Mark’s circumstances had been much worse.
In spite of the craziness of this morning today is a good day. It’s another day of life. Another day to grow. Another day to know that I’m exactly where I want to be. I have immense amounts of freedom and peace on this side of religion. I can see that I am able to rationally assess circumstances as they happen. I am free from spiritual emotion and dogma. I am becoming stronger in these moments of trial. I am loving this journey.