What I Really Thought When That Truck Hit Me

It was an otherwise quiet night.

July 4th here in America came and went without a hitch. That morning my family and I lounged a bit, played a game, and had lunch. Afterward, we visited my parents for dinner, swimming, and fireworks.

Then we headed home.

Bam!

Glass shot into my car, spraying me, my wife, and my kids in the backseat. I heard a thud that sounded like thunder and pulled off to see whether or not we were all still alive.

My wife got out of the car to see how bad the damage was.

“That car just hit your mirror. That’s what broke your window.”

As I opened the door, the overhead light revealed a sandy beach made of glass shards on my dashboard. Bigger chunks of glass landed in my lap and in my wife’s long hair. My daughter caught a few shards in her hair, too.

I looked left to see my mirror hanging by a wire over my door frame.

My next thought was…

Shit. 

What if this had been worse?

The driver had surely been drunk. That’s why the bastard kept going. He either didn’t feel the impact or didn’t care. Or perhaps he didn’t want to get caught if he’d had one too many drinks. 

My mind went back to 6th grade. My Bible teacher — of all the ones to do this — humiliated me in front of everyone in my class on the first day of school.

I carried that crap with me for 12 years. Believing I was worthless. That I didn’t matter. That no one would give a damn if I was dead and gone. And that no one would even notice.

You can read about that here.

I thought about all my hopes and dreams for the future. Would all this be shot down in flames now?

Well, of course not. I’m still alive. But what if I wasn’t? Did that mean I did everything I needed to do?

Guilt is a tormentor. They say nobody sits on their deathbed wishing, “Man, if I’d only worked more.” What they probably wish is they had done more of what they love instead of settling for what others handed them.

More than anything, I was thankful that the glass in our hair and clothes didn’t scratch us once.

The time is now.

I didn’t in my wildest imagination expect this to happen.

But it did.

And it could have been far worse. The truck could have hit us head in. We could have ended up in the woods wrapped around a tree. And if the driver had left us there to rot in those circumstances, who knows how long it would be before someone found us?

Do you have a dream? Do you want to build a better future? Are you tired of the way things are because you’ve settled into a job that doesn’t fit so you can pay the bills?

Stop thinking tomorrow is the day to start. You don’t have tomorrow. You’ve got now — right now — and that’s it. You could live to be 110, but don’t rest on that. 

I’m not saying you’ve got to write a whole book today. Write a chapter. Brainstorm that idea that has your head spinning. Find some supportive friends to give you the help you need. Truly, if you have the will, you’ll find the way.

We need your art, your contribution. You’ve heard others say this before. But I want you to hear this. Your experience and wisdom have been entrusted with you to share. So share it.

I’m committed not to let another day go by that I don’t do something to develop my God-given gifts. I owe it to myself, my family, and to everyone I’m called to serve.

Be audacious about using your talent.

One of my favorite quotes from The Artist’s Way is this one:

Photo by Frank McKinley made with Typorama

Audacity is the key to success. Not talent. Not even hard work. Audacity.

What does audacity mean? 

  • Fearlessly, often recklessly daring; bold.
  • Unrestrained by convention or propriety; brazen or insolent.
  • Spirited and original.

Source: American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition

If you’re normally quiet and reserved, I’ll bet this word scares you to death. 

I used to feel the same way. Then I discovered that the most popular artists in every genre are audacious about staying in the business doing what they love. Fame and fortune only come to you when you do something to attract it.

Afraid your work will suck? Do more of it. You’re sharpening a knife. It takes lots of brushes against a whet stone to get a razor sharp edge. So do the work, and the reward will come later.

And if you’re audacious when you write, you might bring your reward to you on a rocket!

Go create something daring.

This week write a story that comes from so deep inside you wonder if you should write it. It’s probably just what someone needs to hear.

Teach us something that you know so well that you take it for granted. Others might find it amazing.

Then tell us about it in the comments.