Early yesterday morning (and this is no exaggeration) I almost had a nasty if not near-fatal road accident.
As I was driving along a dark pre-dawn minor road, a young deer came bursting out of the undergrowth from the left. It was one of those split-second moments that one can experience in motoring where the difference between reflex, instinct and sheer good fortune is so narrow that you realise you just had an incredibly lucky escape.
As I was driving in a 50 mph limit, and even a doe (which I think this beautiful creature was) is no small animal, there’s no mistaking we both encountered one another and survived. We survived only because I swerved violently to the right as it jumped quickly back. No doubt both our natural instincts to survive kicked in at such high-speed levels of the subconscious (with help from my guardian angel) that we moved on from the experience as rapidly as it had happened.
Except as I continued my daily commute of 72 miles drive, I didn’t move on so quick. I spent the next half hour wondering and pondering and appreciating the words of Scripture (which we sing at the Easter Vigil),
“Like the deer that yearns for running streams, I long for you, my God.”
If nothing else my near miss with that deer taught me a new value for that word of God. That life is short. Life is precious. Life is not worth taking for granted, and our yearning for deep love can only be satisfied by God. And so my journey into Lent continues with that thought as I hope will yours.