I was down in Malindi for our annual men’s conference. The speaker was Capt. Tom Joyce USN Ret. He was working in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. His office was destroyed in the attack. He retold his story which included the end of the day when he made it home. His son asked him, “Dad, you should have died, but God spared your life. So what are you going to do with the rest of your life?”
My motorcycle got a nice ride back to Nairobi on the DC-3. I rode with Randy who had followed us down in a car. I think I need to explain a little bit about the Mombasa Highway. It is a very narrow 2 lane road that runs from Mombasa to Nairobi. Mombasa is not a huge city that generates a lot of traffic on its own. However, it is a port. In fact, it is the port for a huge portion of Africa including all of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Eastern Congo, and much of Tanzania. I realize this is not the most commercially active place in the world, but when you have one tiny road that is supplying everything for this whole region you can get an idea of what traffic can be like. Also, since the police do not have many vehicles, and never use them to patrol, speed limits are very soft “limits.”
As we were almost home, nearing Nairobi about 15km south of Machakos, in the pitch dark we came upon a broken down container truck. It was completely covering our side of the road, and as Randy went to pass he saw a large truck coming the other way. So he quickly braked and we pulled in behind the broken truck. The Land Cruiser behind us was moving very fast and not so aware of his surroundings. He must have seen the truck coming the other direction at the last moment and turned into us to avoid it. Somehow he missed our back bumper by less than an inch and impacted the right rear fender and bounced off the right rear rim which was destroyed. Glass was thrown all over us, and as the impact began, I was certain we were going to end up as pulp under the container truck.
The laws of physics cannot be suspended for brief moments, but if I did not know better… somehow he squeaked through between the two trucks. Then he slowed briefly before speeding off to Nairobi. We never saw him again. The four guys who were with the broken down truck came out to help us. At least we know that now. They could have easily been up to no good. They changed out the spare and beat on the fender to try to give some clearance for the spare.
We were able to get the car back on the road, minus the instruments which quit working (but later started working again). I looked over at Randy and said, “So what are you going to do with the rest of your life?” He smiled.
We made it without too much delay back into Nairobi. Because of the mangled fender and lack of clearance on the tire, we crawled through any rough sections.
You do not need a near miss to know that God is sustaining you (but it helps!). He always has a purpose, He could end it at any moment. I now give you the opportunity to ask yourself, “So what are you going to do with the rest of your life?”