I was not too happy when our oldest daughter left Cosmos, a dog, at our home after arriving from college. I had just started really enjoying our time alone with both of our kids now gone from home. Then Kelly arrived signifying that life was changing. And then there was Cosmos. And then there was no Kelly. Cosmos remained.
Despite my unhappiness with this situation, there was additional frustration whenever my wife was out of town. She was out of town this particular morning and so I got to walk Cosmos by default. There was no one else at home and dog owners will tell you that it is a good thing to regularly walk your dog. Your home will appreciate it.
It was me that had cautioned my wife to avoid a certain area near our condo. There were rumors that this area was where some drug deals went down. It was a place off of the beaten path and out of sight of the law. Taking my own advice, I had not walked this path either. For some strange reason, I headed towards this dangerous area with Cosmos.
I was already in the wooded areas when I first heard the motor of a car running. My heart rate increased as I sensed this might not be a good idea. Then I saw the car nestled in the woods between some trees somewhat wedged in there and partly hidden. I now got a little frightened as I imagined I was walking right by a drug deal going down. The car running was probably so that the drug dealers could get away quickly.
Keeping a watchful eye out for any danger, I quickened my pace. As I got to the other side of the car, I noticed the hose coming out of the tail pipe and leading back to the driver side window. I rushed to the car and pulled on the door. I grabbed this lifeless looking figure and pulled him from the car and shook him hoping to shake some life in him. I was surprised to find him starting to cough. I ministered to him as he breathed some air and slowly gained his life.
The second surprise, one that was unexpected, came that he came back to the condo to talk to me. As I sat there and listened to his story, it dawned on me what had really happened. I was walking Cosmos, a dog that I had resisted and did not want in our home. I was walking the path that I had expressly asked my wife not to travel. This was not a chance event. I told him the story. As I finished, I told him the only logical thing was that God did not want him to die. There were too many strange coincidences. He was meant to live. He had a purpose. God wanted him to live.
Later in life when I revisited this event, a light bulb would go off for me that would never go out. On the path that day, there were three. The man whose life was spared, God who saved his life, and me. I too was there on the path. What did being on the path mean for life? There are no small moments in life. Each moment is meant to be lived and cherished. In the ordinary living of life, we can sometimes miss out on the moment. Our own life may be saved or changed or we may save or change a life. We do not know in advance all of the great moments in life. The next moment may be our most important moment this year. Or yet, it may be the greatest moment in our life.
Since this event, I have dedicated my life to living in the moment. I get up every day in awe of the opportunity that lies ahead. I have not heard from the man on the path that day. I hope he is doing well and making moments for those in his life. There are no small moments in life.