Last night, a minute was the difference between a scary situation and a disastrous situation for Jim and Greg.
As they waited at a stop light, they suddenly had front row seats to a high-speed car chase. A car seemingly came out of nowhere, hightailing it into the intersection. As the driver attempted to turn at the high rate of speed, the car slid sideways, jumped the curb, started to roll, and ultimately slammed into an embankment.
Almost immediately, a police car followed in hot pursuit. The officer stopped and jumped out with his gun drawn. Jim could hear him yell, “Get down on the ground!” The driver put his hands up and flung himself out of the car, landing face down. The officer stood as still as a statue – gun still aimed – waiting for backup. (If you look closely at the photo, you can see both the gun and the guy sprawled on the ground.)
In a minute, the light would have turned green and Jim and Greg could have been in the middle of that intersection. In a minute, they might have been more than witnesses. In a minute, things may have turned tragic.
Greg got in trouble this week and I was lecturing him about it again last night. One of the last things I said before we parted was, “I’m so disappointed in you.” I meant I’m disappointed in that specific behavior. But I said “in you.” I shudder to think how those words would have haunted me if, in a minute, something terrible had happened. How I would have re-played in my mind every single time I responded “in a minute” to a request.
“Mom, will you play Battleship with me?” “In a minute.”
“Mom, will you make cookies with me?” “In a minute.”
“Mom, may we go to the mall?” “In a minute.”
Jim said when it happened, Greg just kept saying over and over “That was unexpecting. It was really unexpecting.” Then later he added, “We’ve had some unusual Daddy/Greg time before, but that was the most unusual-est!” When I asked him if he was scared, he replied “No! It was awesome!”
I love that he is still unjaded and innocent enough that he doesn’t comprehend what could have happened in that minute. That he doesn’t realize that life can change in a minute.
To rephrase a common quote, live each second to its fullest; you never know what the next minute may bring.
Greg, you are so right. Life is unexpecting. It is really unexpecting.
“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” ~Ronald Reagan