Split-Second Decisions: Heartbreak and Hope

Tuesday is for Thinking

Update from four years ago: The accident was four years ago, but I still have pain in my rib cage! Sometimes a split-second decision is all we will have. Let’s train our hearts so that in all the moral, ethical, and spiritual decisions of life, we are ready to make the right ones. Oh, and would you pray for me. I started my biking season yesterday and was out again today.

Split second decision

I had my first crash of the year on my bike today (actually, last Friday). It happened on my way to an appointment at a breakfast restaurant. I was enjoying the speed of the trip. Unfortunately, I enjoyed the speed right into the parking lot where a split second decision put me in the path of a car.

The only way to avoid crashing was to lay the bike down. My right elbow dug into my ribs and compressed and severely bruised, but did not crack the ribs. The fall, combined with dehydration, and the huge adrenalin pump rushed into my body by the eminent crash and fall caused a cascade of short term “health issues.”

What Health Issues? 
  • My mind was in a haze. I couldn’t focus.
  • I could not get my hands to function properly, the adrenalin was making them shake and I was unable to get my bike lock to work.
  • My mind was so clouded that I forgot to turn my phone GPS off, making my distance to time ratio on the ride look worse than it actually was.
  • At the door to the restaurant, I hesitated to go in because I didn’t know if could carry on a conversation.
  • When no one was at the counter to seat me, I put my head down on the counter causing the host who eventually came to ask if I was okay. All I could say was no, I had just crashed on my bike. (They know me at Eggs Up Grill. I have an average of two appointments a week there.)Split second decision 2
  • As the waitress said she would seat me at the closest booth, just three steps away, I could see the world going black—I was about to pass out and made it to the seat just before I was about to collapse.
  • The waitress, “Ill go get you an orange juice.” 
  • As she walked away, a voice called out, Ben, my appointment, was already seated at another booth. I motioned for him to join me but couldn’t speak.
  • Both my hands were numb and tingling for the next 30 minutes as we ordered and ate, and my head didn’t completely clear of its fog until after the meal was gone.
  • I had two cups of coffee before I realized I hadn’t put any sweetener in either (not normal for me).
  • A sneeze and a cough both reminded me that my bruised ribs were going to make life difficult for some time to come.
  • Getting back on the bike for the three mile ride back home was a painful and careful experience.

Why all this personal “health talk?”

All these results, the continuing pain, the sleepless nights because I can’t lay on my side, the grimaces when I cough, the searing pain when I lean on my side the wrong way, all came as the result of a decision that took less than a second. A split-second decision to turn and go down one row of cars as opposed to another caused all of it. One bad decision. That’s all it took.

How often in life are our days and nights made more complicated and painful because we choose the wrong path, the wrong decision morally, in a ‘split-second’ decision? 

More often than we care to admit or consider, I suspect.

And that thought took me back to the Scripture and how much I need the counsel of God. I need the precious promises of God for all the decisions of life. I need to train my heart with the counsel of God so that in the all the situations of life, my “split-second” moral decisions don’t end up in disaster like my morning bike ride.

You guide me with your counsel,
…….and afterward you will receive me to glory.     (Psalm 73:24)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
        I will counsel you with my eye upon you.          (Psalm 32:8)
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.                                                                                                         (2 Peter 1:3-4)

May your heart hunger for his “precious and great promises” so that you too can be better prepared to make all the split-second decisions of life.

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