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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mortality: Teens

“Get your crew. Motorcycle accident on the hill. Two victims. No details.” Grabbing the keys to the ambulance, I swung by the scheduled attendant’s house. I had been re-stocking the ambulance compartments and my co-worker was near enough that I could just swing by if we got a call instead of both of us driving across town to the ambulance barn.

“Any idea what’s up?” he asked as I slid out of the driver’s seat.

“Nothing more than you heard. Should hear more from the radio, though. I can hear the cops talking to dispatch now.” I ran around and jumped in the back of the vehicle as Ken* tuned the emergency frequency a bit. As he zoomed to the scene, I pulled out what I thought we might need for the victims of a motorcycle accident.

“What I can hear, sounds like those guys who just graduated a couple of weeks ago. A set of twins with high school wrestling trophies on their shelves. Apparently, they headed up the hill, single file. They got a bit too close to each other, for some reason. The wheel of the one in back clipped the wheel of the one in front and flipped him. Not sure if both boys are hurt.” Ken was looking straight ahead with his eyes but turning his head slightly to shout the report at the pass-through window.

“Helmets?” I shouted back at him.

“That’s a negative.”

Arriving on the scene, one boy was up trying to give the story through his panicked tears and the other boy was lying, quietly, on the ground. I headed for the downed victim while my partner stepped over to check on the agitated speaker. I didn’t’ have to look his direction to know that Ken had reached the boy.

“No, not me; I’m fine. Help my brother!” He was gesticulating with both hands and moving all over the place as Ken approached.

“It’s okay, son. My partner’s checking on your brother. Lemme have a look at you.”

“No, there’s nothin’ wrong with me! It’s my brother; go help my brother.”

Kneeling next to the young man, I began my assessment. I was, instantly, taken by just how calm his face looked. The nearly total absence of blood made it look like he had just decided to take a nap by the side of the road. He matched his brother’s chic look with the denim bib overalls over a bare, muscular chest. No helmet anywhere in sight. The absence of a carotid pulse and silent chest told the sad story. Life was over for this newly graduated teen. Literally the only scratch on his body was a small mark on his temporal area. When he flew off the motorcycle, he landed on a stone that pierced the side of his skull. His life had come to an end and life, as his brother knew it, would change forever; his twin was gone.

I was, also, affected deeply by this incident; I had only five years on these boys. It was a stark reminder that life could end at any time for any of us. Yes, it is true that not all motorcycle riders who spurn the helmet rule will become a statistic of the road, but some do every single day.

Other teens think speed behind the wheel will help them escape whatever pain they are living through; while, at the same time, other teens use the drug “speed” to send them to a totally different planet for a brief break from reality.

The adolescent never considers that his life could end; he’s simply too young to die. That false sense of security builds an unsafe platform for all kinds of dangerous experiences. The reality, however, is that none of us knows when the Lord will come for us. Not the hour of the day or the day of the year. We have no guarantee as to how many years we will live on this earth. It is a sojourn with no uniform timeline. Truly, every day could be our last. We would do well to live our life with that truth in mind.

Whether the completion of the number of days appointed for us to live rolls around (Ps. 139:16); or, through unwise choices, we shorten the days of the sojourn, the fact is that the days will end. Even if our earthly journey occurs during the period of time immediately preceding the return of Jesus so that our earthly bodies don’t decay in the usual way, still, we will stand before Jesus to give an account of how we lived our life here on earth. None of us knows how old we will be at that point in time. Some of us will be teenagers, while others will be nearing that century mark. Only God knows.

In Matthew Chapter 24 there are two verses of Scripture that apply to the present life we are living, as well as to the returning date of Jesus:

Verse 42: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”  
Many false prophets have tried to give us a certain date on the calendar when Jesus will return, but the Bible says no one knows that day or the hour. We just need to be ready to meet the Lord at any hour of any day. Even if Jesus is not coming because it is the time of His Return, He may come for one of us at any time. Verse 44 lets us know we won’t be finding it on our Day-Planner, so we should live every day as though it were our last… regardless of how old or young we are right now!

Verse 44: So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Why? Sounds a bit underhanded, doesn’t it? I mean, why hide the date of His Coming or, in fact, why keep it a secret what day each of us will die? What’s the big deal?

God understands the creation He has made to the minutest detail. He has made us in such a way that we will find peace and fulfillment only when we obey the laws He made for us, His creation. If God told us we would die on a certain date, wow, would we clean up our act about a week before that date, right? Meanwhile we have lived without His peace and our whole life has been an emotional roller-coaster for no reason whatsoever… except for one week, when we committed ourselves to getting right with God. God made us to have relationship with Him for all of our life, on earth and in Heaven. Since God cannot look upon sin, He has given us His Word so we can learn what will separate us from God. If we can understand the love God has for us, we will begin to understand why being in relationship with Him for all of our life, not just the last week we live, is vitally important to Father God. He made us and He wants us to share in His love.

*Name has been changed.

****Mortality: Parents… Coming Tomorrow

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