Minutes and seconds

Do you ever have one of those days or moments where you realize that life comes down to the minutes & seconds? Maybe you get stopped at a stoplight, and you're miffed. Then when you get through you come across an accident and realize if you hadn't gotten stuck at the light, it could have been you? Or some such?

Late start at school today. Plus it was -5, so I bundled both girls in snowpants to walk across the street to school. Captain America had shoveled the driveway to get out, but not the sidewalk, so we had to go around. Once we got onto the school sidewalk, Ella ran ahead a bit. I usually like her to walk with me, but today I thought it was fine. I called to her, to tell her she could go ahead. Once she got to her locker she should get her stuff off and Natalie and I would be right in. She stopped long enough to listen and by that time we caught up to her. It was right then that I saw an SUV kicking it in reverse and backing up pretty quickly. I grabbed the girls hands, because it was kind of heading for us. Then it stopped.

And I looked ahead of it. Where the giant school bus was barrelling backwards. It went up over the sidewalk we were walking on and landed in a snowbank. Probably about 10 feet from a classroom window. The driver of the SUV hopped out, and ran to the bus to see if anyone was on it. Another person ran out of school to check it too, followed closely behind by the driver of the bus. Sounds like the driver had parked the bus in front of the school door and gone inside, and the brake had slipped. Well that was scary, I thought. But I was just glad no one was on the bus, and the SUV driver had the presence of mind to get out of the way, and that no one was on the sidewalk there at the time.

So I dropped Ella off and went home with Natalie.

Where I freaked out.

Because I thought about it.

The bus had gathered some decent speed by the time it hit the snow bank -- it rolled at least 6 ft into a good sized bank. 30 seconds later, and we would have been walking in that spot. If the sidewalk had been shoveled, that was 30 seconds. We could have left 30 seconds earlier. I had almost just let Ella run ahead about that far.

I can be sort of a chicken little/drama queen. But it's just made me think how often our lives come down to 30 seconds. Or minutes. Split second decisions. How easily things can change. And I feel confident that God is there in those seconds. No matter how they end. This morning we watched it from a relatively safe distance. Had it ended differently, I know God would have been there all the same.

In any case, no matter how I complained about all the snow yesterday, I'm glad it was there today. Too much snow to take the sidewalk in front of our house. Enough snow to stop the bus before it got to the window of that classroom. So (at least for a few days), when I want to complain about the extra FOOT or so of snow we've gotten a couple of days before March, I will bite my tongue.


Michelle W said...

It really does boil down to a matter of minutes and seconds. This point was driven home this week as three of Sean's immediate family were killed in a car crash.

Praise God you and the girls were fine. Tonight hold them close and give them an extra kiss just because you can.

Antique Mommy said...

Life is precarious. Especially now that I have a child, and maybe because I'm older, I think a lot about how we are not guaranteed another day of life, how each day of life, no matter it be a good day or a not so good day - is a good day, a blessing, an awesome gift.

The Lone Female said...

Holy cow, how scary. I'm so glad you were all ok; praise God for snow!

Emily said...

that gave me chills...glad ya'll are all okay!

N said...

Wow... Simply...wow.