A few years ago, a near miss on the motorway while driving at 70 miles/hr, got me seriously thinking about my life.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon when I got into the car to drive back to Manchester from Huddersfield. As I put the key in the ignition, I felt an overwhelming need to pray and found myself praying in the Spirit for a few minutes.
I didn’t understand the significance of this urgent prayer then, but I soon found out. About halfway through the journey, I needed to change lanes to give way to cars on my left. Suddenly from my wing mirror, I spotted a van headed straight onto my path at high speed. I was forced to swerve suddenly to the left to avoid a collision.
I felt my car sway from side to side, I held tight to the wheel as I waited for it to flip over, but it didn’t happen. Instead, I felt like a hand had gently steadied the car, and I was able to continue driving.
I realised then that God had foreseen the incident and thus the urgency to pray before I set off on my journey.
This incident shook me from my complacency and I was confronted with the reality of my mortality, a fact we often choose to ignore. I remember thinking about the things I had always wanted to do and those I knew God had been asking me to do but hadn’t got around to doing. What would my legacy be? Would it be said that I had greatly benefited from this world or that I had served my purpose?
I find the following words by the late Myles Monroe quite sobering;
‘The greatest tragedy in life is not death but life without a purpose—life with the wrong priorities. Life’s greatest challenge is in knowing what to do. The greatest mistake in life is to be busy but not effective. Life’s greatest failure is to be successful in the wrong assignment. Success in life is measured by the effective use of one’s time.’[i]
That experience prompted me to go on a journey to discover how to live every day purposefully.