A Slice of Life
For years, after moving into our new house here in Florida, I had a real problem keeping the grass trimmed along the length of our backyard chain-linked fence. With all the rain we get here, it was hard for me to stay ahead of it. One day, I decided to eliminate the grass by burning it. I poured gasoline along the fence line and set it ablaze. That did a wonderful job of getting rid of all that unsightly grass, except for a few spots where the grass was the heaviest.
For some reason (I can’t remember why) I used a small bowl to pour some more gasoline on those unburned tufts of grass (of course the fire was out and they weren’t smoldering). At one point there must have been a glowing ember I couldn’t see, because fire suddenly ran from the grass up the stream of gasoline into the bowl I was holding. It happened so quick, I was startled and jumped back to get away from the fire, splashing flaming gasoline on the front of my shirt. I tried to throw myself to the ground, flat on my stomach, but that seemed to be happening in slow motion, taking what seemed like forever to get there. By then my polyester shirt had melted and would have stuck to, and caused severe burns to my chest and stomach, if it had not been for my habit of always wearing a tee shirt under my sport/dress shirts (now why do you suppose I do that?). Maybe God knew ahead of time what a foolish person I could be at times, and that I would be needing His protection from time to time.
In 1987, DiVoran and I took an all-inclusive vacation trip to St. Kitts Island in the West Indies. It is located in the Caribbean, and known as part of the Leeward Islands. The resort where we stayed was wonderful and provided every amenity anyone could ever ask for: great accommodations, all the delicious food you could eat, golf, swimming, surfing, and SCUBA diving; a real tropical paradise.
Ever since moving to Florida, one of the things DiVoran and I had wanted to do was to learn to SCUBA dive, but the time and money had never been available.When we saw that SCUBA diving was offered as part of our vacation package we jumped at the chance. We were among a number of the guests that were given lessons in the hotel swimming pool, and approved for “Supervised” shallow diving. The beauty of the water where we dove was spectacular, and I had a tendency to forget some of the basic safety lessons I had learned. At one point on the second day I found myself alone, waiting for the instructor to come back. A number of things could have gone wrong (that I don’t like to think about), if I had struck out on my own, but I felt God impressing me to just stay where I was until the instructor returned.
Then there are the 35 years, during which God has protected me while I worked in the Aerospace Industry as an Ordnance Engineer. Much of that time was spent working with explosives, around hazardous materials, and in hazardous areas where, at other times, workers have been hurt.
At this point in my life, I can’t begin to imagine how many times, over the years, God has had His hand on me (and I didn’t even know it) as I put myself in foolish or dangerous situations. He must have had other plans for my life, and how He could somehow use it to make His presence known to others. All I know, is that I am abundantly grateful to Him for His constant presence in my life and for His merciful protection all these years.