I'm writing this a few months before it'll be posted on the blog, but as I was driving home tonight from a late evening grocery run, I thought of a guy I kinda sort-of knew in high school. I say "sort-of" because I don't really remember if he knew my name or if we ever said more than a few phrases to each other. But regardless, even if I don't think of him often, I won't ever forget him.
He was a year behind me in school. On the school newspaper with me. And one October weekend on the way to our school paper's pre-publishing marathon, Justin died in a fatal car crash. That was now 15 years ago.
Youth is so often forgiving of mistakes. But not always. The trouble is, as a teenager I remember believing that those sorts of things happened to other people, but not to me. Only now do I fully realize the precipices that I was so close to - blind to their depth and treachery. Only by the grace of God did I make it though to this amazing future I couldn't hardly have pictured at the time. When you're finally reading this post in the fall, I will be 32 years old with 3 beautiful children and the most wonderful amazing and beautiful wife on the planet. And Justin - he would have just turned 31 had he not lost his life at barely 16.
I pray daily that my kids' choices will lead them on solid paths, and that their inevitable mistakes will merely be minor setbacks with only temporary consequences. And I thank God for each new day I get to walk in His creation. Rest in peace Justin.