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This post was written by Tee Akindele on July 22, 2010
Posted Under: Everyday Christian,personal

A fresh lease on life – personal experience

“We are approaching the toll gate now, I think.” I said to the lady at the other end of the line.

“Ok no probs, we are expecting you.” ‘Motara replied twice. She is the groom’s younger sister, she invited us.

Ifemakin sat behind His steering wheel, looking strangely vigilant. We had reason to suspect something was wrong with the right-side back tire some few minutes earlier, he actually stopped to examine it himself at Sagamu, but didn’t notice any problem. He tightened all the knots by way of precaution and got back in to drive. Beneath the drone of the Air-conditioner we continued to hear a ticking sound from behind. We were already close to Ibadan anyway, we both silently thought we’ll have it checked in town.

Only a few moments after I ended the call. I heard the same tire burst from behind me, I felt a bump in my seat as the car’s rear lowered to the ground. The car veered sharply to the right and then danced back to the left as Ifemakin struggled bravely behind the wheels. I had not noticed a long trailer loaded with oil, broken-down on the right-side of the road up ahead by then, but Ifemakin had. He must have thought that staying as far away from that trailer as possible was our safest option, but now his car was getting really difficult to steady on the not so straight road.

The car kept veering back towards the right as we got close to the trailer. In a last desperate attempt to keep us from running into the trailer, Ifemakin steered sharply to the left again, maybe he was able to avoid the trailer, but the road was not wide enough and a second danger immediately surfaced, we were now skidding off the road unto the other side of approaching speeding vehicles. This is Lagos-Ibadan express way!

Just before we went off at the left, Ifemakin, whose courage I was already thanking God for, had to make a difficult decision. If he couldn’t stop the car by using the brakes, he definitely had to find another way. The bushes on the right after the trailer looked safe to him. Well, what did I personally think? You may ask, but frankly, by now I was neither thinking nor making decisions, I was only hoping for this dangerously interesting drama to end safely and immediately. I can’t explain my absent mindedness, I felt somewhat like a spectator in a scary make believe.

Well the bushes on the right was it. Ifemakin made a sharp dash across the road. We missed the trailer safely by some feet, But the bushy road side was too steep, soon as we dived in, the Mitsubishi Gallant began the somersaults. For the next few seconds, myself and my closest comrade for about nine years journeyed individually, though side by side. I cannot tell his version, but please let me say mine.

Heaven, death, injury, car wreck, wedding ceremony, weekend, Ibadan, Ifemakin and ‘Motara where now the farthest things on my mind. At this incredible instant, the only thing I was thinking about was Jesus… Ok, granted, maybe my mind was malfunctioning. The full weight of my love for Jesus or His love for me bore upon me so heavily and apparently numbed me. I had nothing left with which to excersise faith or construct a prayer. I was clearly in a delirium. The name of Jesus reverberated from my thoughts through my lips, over and over, as I watched as the wind shield spun over my forehead, till it became a web of splintered glass, as we tumbled severally into the woods.

I would skip a part of myself and Ifemakin’s story, partly because we both don’t understand it and partly because it’s going to be hard for most people to believe it.

By the time my mind began to perceive things normally again. I felt like my mental processes had suffered a blue screen and I couldn’t remember the last moments properly. I wondered if Akin had spoken a word, he was strangely silent to me through out this nerve-raking ordeal. It was too late to pray against an accident now, apparently it had already happened. I had a blurred recollection of smoke, dust and floating off-white rags (which apparently must have been the defunct air bags). Next I felt the seat-belts that had held me safely to my seat, I felt my legs, then my arms. I was alright, I guessed, thank God.

I unbuckled my seat belt. I found my voice again too. “Akin, se o wa alright?” I said tremblingly to my friend in the yoruba tongue.

“Mo wa ok”.

“Se o sure?” I asked again.

“Yeah”. His voice sounded thick.

We probably noticed the smoke going out through the hood at the same time. We probably recalled, at the same time too, a movie we recently saw, where a car had exploded minutes after a crash from gas leakage. I pulled at the door handle, and was surprised it opened. I staggered out, perceived the scent of grass, and something else, perhaps burning oil.

Ifemakin somehow managed to climb out of the shattered window on his side, even before I made it out through the door. Now standing at a safe distance, His hands akimbo, I observed him as he eyed the wreckage and shook his head.

I could no longer tell which direction the road was, but the sound of screeching brakes and people shouting was reaching us now. My mind was recovering too slowly.

Somebody’s hand touched my shoulder and asked me to sit down. I turned around and saw the man, clothed in ankara. He was asking Ifemakin to do same now. “I’m ok, I’m sure” I told him.

“Don’t worry, just sit down” he insisted almost pushing me down. He repeated the same action on my friend.

A smaller guy with a tucked in shirt and necktie came waving a bible over our heads and shouting “Thank you God for saving their lives.” repeatedly. It slowly began to occur to me, that this was not a wild imagination. I really had come so close, alongside my friend, and nothing short of a miracle had spared us. For God’s good purpose, I can only hope.

I knew on that day, 16th of July 2010, that I’d been granted a new slate.
A fresh lease on life.
An opportunity to live longer so I can:
Try again all the things I’ve ever failed at;
Live better and love better;
Reach higher, deeper and broader;
Learn more, know more and appreciate God, grace, mercy and life more.

To continue doing the things I’d just begun to love doing,
But only to do them more faithfully.
To continue to reach for things I’ve only dreamed of and pray for;
Perhaps one day, I’d have the pleasure of grasping them.

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