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A safe man is careful with: His life! (cont'd)
"Lead on! The night is waning fast, and it is precious time to me, I know. Lead on, Spirit!"
(Scrooge to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol')
On Saturday, November 4, 2006, I witnessed the last few moments of Mia Eriksson's conscious life. I was at an International Equestrian Event at Galway Downs near Temecula. As Mia took jump 19 in the cross country event she was thrown. I watched in horror as her horse, named Koryography, did a full front somersault and crushed Mia as he fell. She died a little over an hour later at the hospital.
I agonized all the following week, trying to wring out what spiritual lesson God had for me in witnessing such an awful event. It came to me one morning that week, as I was talking to my wife, Gwen. Let me share what, to my shame, had been my thinking in the past:
As a man, husband and father I think I have all the time in the world to resolve my relationship problems. I'm on cruise control. I don't understand why my wife can't just be happy. Be satisfied. After all, I don't cuss at her, I don't hit her, I don't go out on her. I'm not such a bad guy. I work hard, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I bring home the bacon. I make sure we all attend church regularly. What more could my wife and kids want in a husband and father?
I think I have plenty of time to have an impact on my children's lives, their character, their spirits. There is no urgency to change the way I think, act and talk towards my wife. There's no emergency, life goes on. I'm working on it. I'll be here. She'll be here. My sons will be here.
The fact is, time is short for me. I don't know when I or those close to me will be gone. Mia Eriksson was only 17 when she fell. I vow here and now not to let Mia's life or death be in vain. She will at least have impressed on me that life is short and, with God's help, I will be careful to make the most of it by changing the way I think, act and talk to be more Christlike towards my wife, children and those around me. If you'd like, you can join me in that vow.
"Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"
(The Ghost of Jacob Marley to Scrooge in Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol')