Saved, But for What Reason?
If you’ve ever been scared – really scared – you’ll probably be able to relate to this little story.
My wife, Joy, and I were in Spain this past summer visiting relatives who recently had moved to a beautiful little village in the hills near Madrid.
The area is rich in history and many of the stately homes set on large wooded lots were originally build as weekend retreats for the wealthier entrepreneurs and civil servants of Spain’s capital.
We enjoy running in the morning and this trip was no exception; each day we would begin with an hour or so of jogging, mostly on the tree-lined streets of the town.
One morning we decided to be more adventurous and left the pavement in favor of a rather tortuous trail which was unmarked and secluded.
After about 20 minutes, we decided to return as we were feeling quite disoriented. We had no idea where we were going.
A few moments later, however, we discovered a large number of bulls along our way. The trail apparently crossed an area which was used for herding and the bulls all looked up, taking an interest in our presence.
Our interest in them was limited to observing the length of their horns and their menacing appearance. We cautiously turned around and headed back along the trail.
With a few turns behind us, we felt more relaxed although we were even more lost. We continued on, making our way over rocks and small stumps.
After some time, we began a descent into a valley and were surprised to find railway tracks on the valley floor. They were well maintained and the gravel base dropped off sharply on either side.
Looking to the left, perhaps a kilometer or so away, we could see the roofs of the houses in the village.
I suggested we make our way back by running along the tracks – it was our only option.
Joy was extremely hesitant and felt it could be dangerous. I pointed out that we would hear the train and that this would be a more attractive alternative to the bulls.
She reluctantly agreed and we began jogging on the tracks. At first there was a long straight stretch which gave us plenty of visibility. (I looked back from time-to-time just to make sure.)
After a few minutes, however, as we approached the village, the tracks began to curve around hills. I was about a car length ahead of my wife and continued to look back occasionally.
I turned my head for a moment – looking at her – and then I caught a glimpse of the train which suddenly emerged from behind a hill.
I yelled at Joy (I still remember the words): "Get off the track now!"
I jumped off one side, and she jumped off the other. The gravel was loose and we both lost our footing for a moment.
Seconds later, the train streaked by – quietly – it was an electric train. In an instant, it was gone.
We looked across the track at each other and initially said nothing.
Back at our relative’s home, some time later, Joy and I realized, literally, that we had been saved: saved perhaps from my foolishness.
You may have your own “Saved Story” – a tangible moment when you were protected from the consequences of an action.
Maybe you were a pedestrian and a driver failed to see you on a rainy night; or perhaps you were driving through an intersection and a car running the light narrowly missed slamming into you.
Why did God save me and my wife? Why did God save you? Was it just to allow you continue on doing the same things, for the same reason?
Or, does he have other plans for you? Was it a “wake-up call” to seek his will for the rest of your life?
“And we pray this in order that we may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”
Realizing that I narrowly escaped death has significantly changed my attitude to life. I don’t want to squander whatever time I have left!
“One life, it will soon be past, only what is done for Christ will last.”