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10 years ago, on the morning of September 11, 2001, hundreds of people went to work or about their morning routine in the city like they did every other day.  They didn’t know terror and tragedy were on the way, or that they would soon face death.  They didn’t see it coming.

8 years ago, on the afternoon of September 8, 2003, I received a cancer diagnosis from my surgeon.  I felt fine and had no unusual symptoms besides a small lump in my breast.  I didn’t see that coming, for sure.

About a month ago, here in town, a young couple riding on their motorcycle on a beautiful sunny afternoon was crushed between two SUVs because the driver coming up behind them at an intersection was intoxicated.  They left behind small children and many shocked, saddened family and friends.  They certainly didn’t know that was going to happen.

I could list story after story and we’ve all heard it before:  none of us knows what will happen tomorrow, or even in the next hour.   Time is far more precious than we usually realize or remember.  Just reminding you as I remind myself.

Kind of makes the silly things I get upset about trivial and ridiculous:  like the self-checkout clerk being a bit too chatty and helpful (after all it’s SELF checkout right?), or my van’s engine skipping gears once in a while, or my bank account being a lot less than I wish it would be, or my couch is old and the fabric is fraying, or any other silly little “problem.”

Perspective.  That’s what these memories give me.  What really matters?  Really.

The awesome, reassuring, beautiful truth is that no matter what happens – if our house burns down, if we become sick and our earthly bodies die, if we lose our jobs or every little thing we own – nothing can take away the relationship we have with God, through Jesus.  Nothing can take us from His hand, nothing can keep us or cut us off from his love.  NOTHING.

Someday my life will be over and I’ll stand before God.  It will most likely happen when I’m not expecting it, but if I am following Him and staying near His side, it won’t matter that I didn’t see it coming.