"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Oy! What a Month!

Most of you know that about a month ago I was offered a position at my church working for the Minister of Administration. Thus began the process of my retirement with 27.111 years of service at the University.....and the mounds of paperwork and the attempt to train for a new job and leave my former job in good condition for my replacement.

My final day came a week ago following several days of luncheons, farewells and the final huzzah of a retirement reception with hugs, tears, gifts and a very bittersweet drive from a campus where I had spent the majority of my adult life and had, hopefully, made a positive mark. I had a good career there and was looking forward to taking the 'next step'.

It seems that in most of the major events of my life, I am not content with just the mundane and routine way of doing things. Drama and Flair always seems to accompany me. Such as my retirement. It apparently wasn't enough to retire from a good job and have a nice drive home reflecting on the friendships and good times. Oh no, THAT would be far to ordinary for me. I just had to spend my last commute sideswiping a telephone pole and rolling my SUV almost three times and slinging all the contents of my 27 years all over the road and sidewalk. Yeah....that's me, do it with Flair! The police came, the paramedics came, they picked glass out of my arm, scalp and legs, flushed more from my eyes, made me perform all types of balancing acts and realized I was not seriously injured to warrant a mandatory trip to the closest ER.

All frivolity and joking aside.....I cannot comprehend how I walked from this wreck without serious injuries or even death. I was attempting to avoid the car in front of me who stopped suddenly and went to the sidewalk, hit the telephone pole and in attempting to gain control of the car, began the rolling that my mom always worried about. As I saw the windshield shatter and begin caving in I covered my face with my hands and arms, lowered my head to rest on the steering wheel and put myself in God's Hands. When it all ended, I realized I was alive, just bloody and contorted in a position not normally found in nature. Four good samaritans were already at the car and helped me out through the windshield, had called the police and was picking up some of my belongings from the highway to be out of further harm.

All the police and paramedics were amazed that I was alive and basically uninjured. I told them it was God protecting me. A lady walked down the sidewalk and was looking around the car and asked if the driver was alive. I told her it was me and I seemed to be fine. She started to cry and asked if she could give me a hug and say a prayer for God's blessing and protection. So, there on the side of a major highway in Friday traffic, this big ole white guy was hugging, praying and crying with a little skinny black lady. She was the angel I needed at that moment. She was from the projects nearby; I live in the suburbs. Her shoes were full of holes and ragged; mine were Doc Martens that probably cost more than she has to buy groceries for a month. Her clothes were ill-fitted and tattered; mine were Ralph Lauren and Izod. Yet, she was praising God that this man she has never met or will ever see again was safe She didn't see me as a person, just as a child of God. The hug, the tears and the prayer led me to realize that God was still in charge of my life and definitely has more for me to do.

The next day when I went to the tow yard to finish cleaning out the car, the young man who led me through all the wrecked and junk cars was also amazed that I was in decent condition. As I walked around to the driver's side to reach in, he made the comment that "obviously that cross and fish on my rear bumper protected me.....or rather, the One who they represent kept me from being hurt". Again, an angel of sorts, reminded me of God's protection from harm and that more and better things are yet to come.

Since last weekend, I've started the new job which is going great, the soreness and stiffness is lessening each day, the bruises are fading and most of the glass has finally worked itself out of my scalp and arm. My body is healing, but my soul is still feeling very unworthy of God's mercy and protection. I know I don't deserve the blessings I have and especially the blessing of walking away from this wreck, however, on several occasions these past few days, the scripture from Jeremiah 29:11 has been interjected into my life. God has plans for me (and for you).....plans for good and not for harm. Today I have another vehicle to drive and a new beginning in my life. But most importantly, I have been reminded rather Dramatically and with Flair that "God is Good...all the time. And all the time...God is Good!"

And so for today with a most grateful heart, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.

10 Comments:

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Suzii said...

Aren't ya glad ya chose to be a liver? What an awesome testimony of God's mercy and love. I am truly blessed by the words you have written today. God is so very good. :) I'm glad you're ok. Now you can continue to be a long time lurker to my blog :)

 
At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Danielle said...

Jimmy!!! Why didn't you tell me??? I'm so glad you are okay. I guess God was taking care of both of us last weekend. Prayers do not go unanswered. No more driving weirdly! Be safe and I'll see you tomorrow! (Well, today since it's technically Sunday.)

 
At 1:17 AM, Blogger BHGA said...

Jimmy,

God is sooooo good....all the time...I cried as I read this...the sweet little lady and the hugs.....I am praising God you are alive and well. It is awesome how you write of Him!!!

Blessings,
Donna

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

Thank you so much Suzii, Danielle and Donna for your prayers and kind words. Never before have I felt God's physical protection in my life and it has been quite the awesome week as I reflect back on all the events. Thanks for dropping by and (hopefully) I'll be back posting a little more often.
God Bless you all!
Jimmy

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger Janice said...

Jimmy,

I keep checking for new posts and somehow never found Saturday's or Sunday's post this weekend. Weird!

The photo of your SUV says more about your Divine protection that your story does. I'm so glad you came through that with your sense of humor - not to mention your body - intact. Isn't it strange that happened on your last long drive to work day? (I assume you don't have a long commute because your local church is actually local?)

I'm sure your new job will be a blessing to you and you will be a blessing to all who come in contact with you. You have personal testimony of God's protection and mercy.

Jan

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger JOE B said...

I am sitting here listening to "Give me Jesus", reading about a little ole lady angel and crying. Why, because I am a cryer, so leave me alone. Also becasue I just realized how close I was to losing one of my best friends. I hate to tell you this Jimmy, but I do not believe you were saved from harm because you are a good person or something to the effect. God said He would not let us go through trials and tribulations He knows we could not handle. After all the stuff I have been through these past few years, I could not handle losing a friend like you. God saved you for me.

Even though you never call me to play golf or when we go out to eat I always pay you are still one of my best friends, (just kidding about the food and the call thing not about the friend thing.)

Plus God knows I can't handle Gabe, Dusty, and Seth alone. Please Mitch, Johnny and John Michael are coming up fast.

One other thing, you didnt need that big ole car. With something that big you could hurt someone, for example, lets just say for fun you ran over a foot of someone. Something that big could really do a lot of damage.

Well I am glad you are OK.

Joe

 
At 10:14 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

All I can say is, WOW. Your guardian angels oughta get some overtime for that one!! Seriously, Jimmy, I just surfed over here to see what you're up to, but little did i know! Praise GOD from whom all blessings flow--amen? GOd is good. And He apparently has good plans for your life.

You are loved and protected and kept SMACK in the middle of God's will!

Awesome post. But hey, we love an AWESOME GOD.

in Christ's love,
Your friend Vicki

 
At 10:14 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

PS--Jimmy, please pray for Jan....see my blog for info. Thanks!

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

Jimmy,

I am so glad that you are okay. The damage to that SUV is remarkable. Thanks be to God for saving you with only a few minor injuries!!!

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger Sherri said...

Jimmy,

I happened upon your blog from visiting Wind Scaps. In reading, up to the point of the "accident" post, I have to say that God has used you to speak to my heart, to encourage, in this time of new beginnings for us as well. It's a very long story for such a new friend to hear but suffice it to say that the reading of your blog, your honesty, your transparency, has been for such an appointed time as this. I'll keep reading and I praise God with you and everyone else that He protected you and kept you. Our God is an AWESOME God, He reigns from Heaven Above.

Amen,
Sherri

 

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