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Reflections on Time


My motorcycle gang (think “Wild Hogs”) planned to ride up to the Black Hills of South Dakota for the Memorial Day weekend, but the forecast was for cold and rain, so we called an audible and headed south through the deserts and mountains of northern New Mexico. On the way down we made a detour to see the motorcycle rally at Red River. Traffic slowed to a crawl as we approached the center of town, which was crammed with literally thousands of motorcycles of every shape and hue and their equally colorful riders.

We headed out of Red River along the winding mountain roads towards Taos, and as I glided around a curve a few miles from town I saw a shiny Harley lying on the far side of the road. Its owner was lying dead in the middle of the opposite lane, a streak of blood on the pavement ending at his bare head, his sightless eyes staring at the sky. In a plainly forlorn gesture, a first responder checked for a pulse.

As I rode on through the mountains I contemplated that fallen rider. He woke up that morning looking forward to riding up to the rally. Before he got on the road, he probably did the routine things we all do each morning. Perhaps he took a shower and ate breakfast before he fired up his bike and headed out. Almost certainly it never occurred to him that in a scant few hours he would be standing before his maker giving an account. He did not know how little time he had.

Statisticians measure probability in fractions of one. A 0.1 probability means there is a 10% chance some event is going to occur. A 0.9 probability means there is a 90% chance. Last I checked, the mortality rate is holding steady at “1.00.” The Bible says, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” This may be the most vitally important statement ever made. Like this fallen rider, we may have far less time than we think, or our remaining time may be measured in years or even decades. Either way, our remaining time is limited. Each of us will die. And each of us will give an account. Here is wisdom. Be prepared for that day.