From the Principal,
November 19, 2015
"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever." Psalm 107:1
It was one of those ideas that came together quite quickly. I had a day off of school last Friday, my daughter's girlfriend was lonely at her Chicago-based college and Kristine had been wanting to visit her, we had a voucher for a discounted hotel room, and Travelocity was running an amazing deal... so before you knew it, the three of us had a girls' weekend in Chicago planned, organized, and booked!
For the girls, Christmas shopping was on their minds. For me, I was happy to just be with the girls... but I was REALLY happy at the potential to attend a Willow Creek worship service at their downtown Chicago satellite venue. Every summer, the leadership of St. Matthew attends Willow's leadership conference so the thought of worshipping at one of their venues was very exciting for me!
As soon as we arrived on Friday, time just seemed to fly by, and before we knew it, Sunday morning had arrived. We got up early and ate breakfast at a cute little coffee shop across the street from the hotel. Afterwards, all three of us hopped in the back of a taxi to head to the local theater that Willow Creek rents for their downtown worship venue. Might I add that we were all extremely ignorant to think that since we were just jumping in the taxi for a short ride, none of us put on a seatbelt! This was
a very poor lapse in judgment that none of us will ever repeat!
The driver was extremely pleasant and immediately struck up a conversation with us. He was telling us about the "Hot Chocolate" Chicago marathon that was taking place a few blocks away and congratulated us for leaving so early for church due to the heavier traffic. I thanked him for his flattering words but assured him that it was a total fluke that this particular group would be running early for anything!
As we approached the Wacker Road tunnel, I was looking down at my phone to confirm the theater address when I heard Kristine say, "Is she going to..." and before the word "stop" could come out of her mouth, that horrid sound of two cars colliding resonated throughout the taxi. Immediately upon impact, I was thrown across the backseat and onto the two girls. The car spun in a circle like a vicious ride at Cedar Point, and by the time it stopped, I was down by their feet. The first words to break the deafening silence were my own with the request of "Please tell me everyone is ok!" My heart was relieved to hear everyone's response of "I'm good". As I sat up, I immediately saw the tunnel wall approximately two feet in front of our taxi's windshield. As I got out of the car, I noticed that after we spun, our taxi went up over the sidewalk, missing a pole by approximately 12 inches. Even more amazing, no one hit us as we spun in a circle, nor did we hit any marathon participants who filled the sidewalks.
The driver that hit us did not see that she had a red light so she had no clue until it was too late that she was driving into oncoming traffic. Our taxi driver saw her running the light and sped up to try and avoid getting hit, which was a good thing or we would have been hit right in the door that I was leaning up against.
As all of us stood safely on the tunnel's sidewalk listening to the barrage of sirens approaching us from the distance, I think Kristine summed it up best when she stated, "This is totally a God-thing that no one got hurt!"
Every day, our lives are filled with tremendous blessings and "God-things". Some of them, like this situation, are very apparent. Others are those small things that often get overlooked and taken for granted. However, when we train our thoughts to focus on looking for the blessings every day, it is amazing how long each day's list can become. It is also amazing how this generates a spirit of gratefulness as well.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving next week, may all of us extend this celebration into becoming a year of "thanks-living", where we celebrate and honor God every day for the tremendous blessings that He gives to each of us.
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His love endures forever!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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