The Day I Should Have Died & The Day I Lost a Friend

I recently had an experience that I consider to be the day I should have died. Between that and unexpectedly losing a friend this past weekend, here's what's running through my head right now.

The Day I Should Have Died & The Day I Lost a Friend (True Story)

What I consider to be the day I should have died was a Monday afternoon. I had just gotten off of work, and I was in a rush to get home; which was no different than any other day. I was cruising at about 85 mph when suddenly something unexpected happened. Due to heavy rainfall in the area throughout the day, there was a massive puddle in the road that neither I nor the driver of the vehicle in front of me noticed.

Out of nowhere the car in front of me rolled through this puddle, nearly losing control. Somehow, the driver managed to keep the car moving forward. But, the wake from their tires caused my tires to completely lose traction and began hydroplaning. My car began to spin uncontrollably.

Without me doing anything my car flew across 3 lanes of traffic and off the road, then immediately jerked me back onto the road while continuing to spin uncontrollably. When my car finally stopped, it was inches from a cement barrier. I continued to brace myself even after my car had stopped because my driver door was facing oncoming traffic which was still driving 85 mph. But, after a few seconds of hearing tires screeching from other vehicles on the road, I looked out my window.

To my surprise, somehow the other vehicles on the road managed to stop without sliding into my car. The car closest to hitting me was only feet away from me. Upon realizing that I was not going to get hit, I immediately cranked my stalled car up and pulled my car off the road. When I inspected my car for damage, I was surprised to find none at all. Even my tires were fine.

This experience that only lasted a few seconds woke me up. I’ve seen fatal wrecks in that same part of this busy highway; this should have been no different.

I know this was the day I should have died.

This past weekend, one of my coworkers was not so fortunate. On Sunday night (10/21) I received a call. One of my close work colleagues that I had sat less than 20 feet from for ten years had unexpectedly passed away. (I’m not sharing details out of respect for the family.)

The news hit me hard. I couldn’t process what I was being told. This coworker was also a friend of mine. We had a great friendship and working relationship. Because of this, I knew he had so much more he wanted to accomplish and do with his life.

As I sat there attempting to process what I had been told, a question was running through my head. Why was his time cut so short? Then, I asked myself a far more intense question. Why did I not die in my car just a few weeks before my coworker passed away?

These are big questions. Questions that don’t need to be answered. The truth is, none of us know when our time is up. It isn’t our business to know or to understand, or even ask questions like this. What matters is what we do with the time we do have. The only time we have for certain is this very moment.

As I’ve been processing the past couple of weeks of my life, I’ve discovered some questions that I can ask. These are questions we should all be asking ourselves.

  • What am I doing with my time?
  • Am I a good steward of my life?
  • What am I using my natural abilities for? (Selfish gain or to help others)
  • What important things have I been putting off for later that I know I should be doing now?
  • If I were to die today, what would people say about me? (What’s my legacy)

When I (honestly) ask myself these questions, I know that I don’t always do what I should do. In fact, I often do the opposite of what I know to be right. I’m not intentional with my time. I’m not loving and helping people. God is not always my focus or first love.

The question running through my head is this, why did my coworker die and why did I live? Why? That’s a morbid question, I know. But, that’s where I’m at. The date, 10/21/2018 is forever marked a sad, yet eye-opening, day in my life. It’s the day God opened my eyes, once again. He has a plan and purpose for my life, and I need to be intentional with what I do with my time or lack thereof.

Related Post: How to Live a Life That is Proactive Instead of Reactive

My conclusion is this: We all lose loved ones. One day, it will be us that someone loses. When that day comes, what will people say about you and me? Every breath we breathe is not because of anything we’ve done. It’s all a gift. We cannot do anything to earn more. Use what time you have to glorify God and do everything you’ve ever dreamed of doing in life.

Today I challenge you to begin treating every day as if it is your last. Go further than you ever thought possible. Help everyone you can. Love God and people relentlessly. Live a life you’re proud of.

Written by Alex Sanfilippo

My mission is to live a life honorable in every way to God my father. I am passionate about building disciples and strengthening the church. My daily goal is to be a positive influence on the people around me and to make the world a better place.

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