The other day, Rich almost killed a guy.
Okay, that's not really true.
We were driving to grab a bite and a guy walked across the road as we were driving by. There was a second when Rich was surprised by this fellow in the middle of his path, but truly, no one was in danger. And once it was clear that we weren't going to be heading to jail, we joked about it. We thought that it would be pretty awful to be mowed down by a rogue minivan and Rich said that he was driving "twenty-two-hundred pounds of death." To which I said that I was totally stealing that phrase for a blog post. (Because that's what I do. I steal stuff.)
Twenty-five years ago today, many of us watched in amazement as the space shuttle Challenger tore into the clear blue Florida sky, defying once again our need to be tethered to the earth and to prepare to explore outer space. Our amazement turned to horror 73 seconds later when the shuttle exploded killing all seven crew members. Everything was normal and then all of a sudden, everything was as far from normal as it could be.
We're surrounded by potential heartache all the time. We can be just strolling along and then out of nowhere, we're completely devastated. Fear. Rejection. Loss. It comes out of the darkness like twenty-two-hundred pounds of death and can leave us bruised and bloodied in the gutter. And when you've been hit by something like this, it can be really hard to get your bearings.
In John 16, the disciples have been hit with some difficult news -- news they don't fully understand. Jesus tells them this same message. Hard times are coming. They are going to experience fear, rejection and loss. There is no escape from this. It's a fairly sobering passage of Scripture.
But Jesus does not leave them in despair. He leaves them with a promise. And I believe it's a promise that is available to any of us when we're hit by those unexpected tragedies.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."