Ere you left your room this morningSep 15, 2022 02:12PM ● By The Andersons
I took our dogs for a walk a couple days ago. The triple digit heat wave had finally broken, and I knew that some time outdoors would be good for the three of us. It was about 3 in the afternoon, and the temperature was in the mid 80s as we ventured out.
Our five-mile route is uphill the first 2.5 miles before we turn and retrace our steps home. As we approached the top, I could tell the dogs were hot. I had neglected to bring water. Their pace had slowed considerably. As we made the turn to head home, I spotted a large tree. We stopped. The dogs found cool ground and immediately sat down as they cooled off in the shade. After about 10 minutes, and when their panting had almost stopped, we resumed our walk home.
When we arrived home, and after they had each gotten some water, I took the garden hose to water our wilting tomato plants. I then decided to hose off both dogs as well. Gus happily complied, but Maggie did not. As I reached for her, leash still in hand, she bolted.
Gus and Maggie are Doberman Pinchers. Gus weighs about 110 pounds, and Maggie weighs 85 pounds. When she bolted, I was on uneven ground with her leash still tethered to my left wrist. Immediately I was off balance. As she pulled me over backwards, I fell over a boxwood, and onto our paved driveway.
As soon as she bolted, I instinctively knew I was going to fall, but it happened so fast. I knew there was nothing I could do to stop it. My elbow hit first, and then the back of my head struck the pavement. I was momentarily stunned. And I was alone. As I stood up, I realized, straightway, how fortunate I was that the incident wasn’t worse.
I did a quick check to make sure I felt OK, and knew that if there was significant pain or vomiting to seek medical attention. Thankfully, there was none of that, and aside from a bruised elbow, mild headache, and some pain on the sides of my neck (whiplash?) I feel fine.
But it was a somber reminder of how quickly – absolutely instantaneously – tragedy can strike and how everything can completely change.
“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
I was reminded (again) of how precious every moment of life is. We never know what tomorrow holds – or even the next hour. Prioritize what matters most. Let go of what doesn’t matter, and focus on what does.
The past few years, I’ve added something to my prayers. I used to ask that my family would be kept safe from harm. I always meant that as a prayer for physical safety, and while I think that’s important, I now also ask for the blessing that we be kept safe from physical, mental and spiritual harm as well. Every day there are unseen hazards and perils along our paths. I know that we don’t walk those paths alone.
“Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray? In the name of Christ our Savior, did you sue for loving favor as a shield today?”
wRob and Kathleen Anderson have been active in politics and community affairs for many years in both Davis and Salt Lake County. λ