November 8

Written by Bill Grandi on November 8th, 2022

I hope to answer Ryan’s comment on yesterday’s post tomorrow. I had planned it for today but something else is on my mind. (And my other mind would be upset if I didn’t write this).

A dubious anniversary.

That is what I would call it. Usually anniversaries are celebratory occasions. We call them birthdays. We call them golden and silver (speaking of weddings. Fun fact: Jo and I will celebrate, Lord willing, #50 this coming June 16th).  We call them holidays. All days or moments of celebration. A highlight. A star.

So why do I write “a dubious anniversary?”

Yesterday, my daughter, Tami, texted me early in the morning to tell me I had an anniversary. More specifically, her memory feed on FB said it was the 6th year anniversary of my hit-n-run accident. Not me hitting and running, but someone using me as their personal practice dummy by using the mirror of their SUV to see if they could hit me and put me down. They succeeded. (Yay for me). Then I laid on the road watching him drive on, not even slowing down or using a brake light. November 7, 2016 around 1:15 in the afternoon. Clear day. Sun was out. Bright clothes. Day ruined. A trip to the ER. It was followed by a couple of weeks of pain and a huge hematoma on my left hip. A trip to a clinic about a week or so later due to a swollen leg. Gradual healing.

The first time out riding after that I was very cognizant (translated: highly alert) of every vehicle that went by me. Still am to this day. In the summer of ’17 I was buzzed by a car and when I stretched my arms as if to say, “Why?” he made a not so nice gesture out of his window. Yeah…it was on purpose. It happened a year or so later when a Jeep got real close, gestured and sped along. But it wasn’t so funny when two days later I was coming on an intersection, saw that same Jeep, pointed and he took off like a “bat out of you-know-where.” (Sorry for the rabbit trail).  Anyway, that first ride past where it happened, I rejoiced and prayed a prayer of thanks. Even to this day, I remember it when I ride past it.

It is a dubious anniversary. But it was also an awakening time. A realization that my life could been snuffed out that quickly. A spiritual awakening that began that day, was reinforced 3 months later when I went over the handlebars while going downhill (I still don’t remember what happened).  I broke my collarbone, 3 ribs, and split my helmet in 3 places.  That accident was like the exclamation point on the spiritual awakening which had begun on November 7.  It climaxed in spiritual awareness, repentance from drifting and taking things for granted, relaxing boundaries, and a new appreciation for life.

It is a dubious anniversary, but one I look back on with gratitude. My life was spared. A 16 pound bike with a 205 pound rider has very little chance against a 3000 pound machine at 60 mph.  That is simply no contest.

More importantly though, God used it to say, “Wake up Bill! You are relying to much upon yourself.”

“Thank  you Father, for your gracious heart toward me. For the lessons taught (and hopefully learned) I thank you. Take whatever days I have left and let me use them wisely for You.”


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    Isn’t it wild how God can use what we perceive as negative circumstances for His glory and good. The body will heal, but even if it doesn’t, one day it will be fully renewed. The important aspect of the circumstances is the spiritual response. The “wake up call” that life may be drifting further from the anchor than God would desire. That the tether has come untied or at the very least, the knot is slowly untying. I am Thankful for your reawakening. May the boat of your life stay firmly connected to the anchor of God so that the waves of this world cannot carry you out to sea.
    Happy Anniversary…a time to celebrate your re-awakening!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Ryan. Sad part is that it was a gradual drift. Not a capsizing moment but a slow leak. I’m grateful God gave me a life preserver and a life boat and pulled me back away from the drift. And I am celebrating. Thanks for celebrating along with me.

  2. Glynn says:

    My own dubious bicycling anniversary is in August. In 2009, while doing a weekend group ride with friends from church, I had a bike crash, falling hard on my left side. Lots of blood, but I felt ok enough to get back on the bike and finish the last 16 miles of a 162-mile ride on the Katy Trail. Three days later, when I was having trouble breathing, the ER doctor informed me I had a partially collapsed lung and four broken ribs. (But it was a great ride!)

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Funny: it was a great ride! I said the same thing to Jo after both of the wrecks. you are a trooper Glynn. finishing the last 16 miles. That is called “I love cycling!” Glad you are healed and haven’t quit riding. Tell me though: is your wife a little extra “attentive” when you ride? Mine is. 🙂

  3. gail says:

    I remember your bike accident where you went over the handlebars. I had not been at OVCF, all that long, at that time. I remember even more a sermon you did shortly after that accident. In that sermon, you talked about a spiritual awakening, drifting from God, strengthening your relationships, and it made me think of two things specifically. One, I wanted to go to a church where the pastor was honest, and willing to talk about spiritual drift, and his own struggles. Two, it made me realize how easily we can take our relationship with God for granted. It made me wake up to the fact if I wanted a truly good relationship with God, it required me to work on it, on my end. It changed my own spiritual path, I quit excepting God to do all the work for me. I realized how self center my relationship with God had been, and how patient and loving He had been with me. I am so thankful, that God used your sermon to make me do some self evaluation and gave me my own spiritual wakening. Thanks Bill, a really good sermon should always make the listener squirm in their seat a little. LOL

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Gail. That first one happened 3 months before the “handlebar” one. 🙂 I’m a glutton for punishment. I have had one person say, “another reason for not exercising.” Thanks for the reassurance of my openness being a good thing. I’m glad it also spurred you toward following Jesus more closely. Is the one in the pulpit supposed to squirm also?

  4. I remember those frightening accidents you had, Bill; not good things to happen in and of themselves, but if God can “wake us up” with them, it’s all worth it in the end. Three feet apart!!!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Agreed Martha. No lesson should ever be wasted. And yes, 3 Feet Please. It is obvious he was not observing that. Hmmmm maybe I need a GoPro?