A few months ago, my husband and I met with our insurance agent. We reviewed all our current policies including our life insurance and, in light of the collision that killed two of our children, updated our beneficiaries.
We also purchased additional life insurance and during the course of the “insurability interview” (at least that’s what I call it) we were asked if we participate in any “risky” activities. Imagine my raised eyebrows! “Such as . . . “, I responded. “Oh, you know, car racing, extreme skiing”, or something like that was the response. “Uh, no” was the answer of course.
Our insurance agent unknowingly planted a seed that day. A few weeks later I looked over at David as we sat at a red light and reminded him of that conversation then told him, “Ever since Matt mentioned car racing I’ve had this desire to get behind the wheel and drive really fast.” David just laughed at me and I laughed too. Wouldn’t it be ironic to have your insurance agent inadvertently encourage his customer to participate in behavior he was, in effect, insuring against?
You’d think, being involved in a double-fatality car accident would put a bit of a damper on the desire to drive really fast, but you’d be wrong. For one thing, I really didn’t see the accident happening. I was reading and completely unaware of what would befall us until happened. Now, an actual wreck, that would probably toss me into a full-blown PTSD attack, not the driving itself.
Every time I buckle up and point my car down Highway 102 toward JBU, I anticipate flying down the twisting, turning two lane stretch between Centerton and Gentry with the radio cranked up – loud!
I virtually itch with the desire to push my foot to the floorboard of my souped-up Toyota Camary (sarcasm alert) and fly down that twisting, turning highway.
But shoot, I’ve always been a practical kind of girl. In fact I think I was born with a forty year-old brain, and practicality constrains every latent, adrenaline-fueled, fantasy that flashes through my mid-life crisis driven soul, leaving me regretting the fact that I missed out on my opportunity to experience and enjoy a misspent youth! Oh to rewind the clock! What different choices might I have made if I had known this day was coming?
I wish I had the opportunity to participate in martial arts, to spend copious amounts of time on the gun range, to be trained to race cars, drive defensively, to zip line and hang glide and even jump from a parachute packed plane – No Adult Diapers Required!
I’d choose to embrace adrenaline and eschew safety. I’d choose to live wide open, if I could do it all again. And I’d also choose David and Cole, Bethany, Gracen and Katie all over again – heartbreak be dammed! For there is not one thing I’d choose to undo about my family in order to avoid the assault of death and disease in my life, because all the adventure and excitement risky business promises in no way compares to the riches of human relationships. I may regret missed adventures but the only regret of any consequence I have in regards to my family is a lack of health and a lack of time – neither of which I ever had any personal control over.
So, as much as I might itch to fly down highway 102, leaning into the curves and blasting down the straightaways, it’s highly unlikely that I will ever actually cut loose and do it. (Well, not the way I’d really like to anyway). I still have important relationships here to enjoy – and no amount of adventure and adrenaline is worth the price some other unsuspecting family might have to pay should I selfishly choose to ignore the risk to other drivers on the road one day and open that throttle up and fly.
Nope – that kind of excitement and adventure is what fiction is all about. So I’ll just have to charge up the ereader or raid the Redbox and live vicariously through the characters within and hope that, as Randy Alcorn seems to believe, the new Heaven is a redeemed earth, and I’ll have all of eternity to bring glory to my Savior by fully enjoying His unblemished creation. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!