staying alive or LIVING FOREVER?

Randy Epps 8/9/20

This world we are living in is quite a risk, yeah?

And, suddenly, 2020 rolls around and the leaders of the world have taken it upon themselves to “protect” everyone, no matter what.

Well, not everyone. But, maybe everyone that might ever have a chance of getting this new dread disease that we are told surrounds us, on every side.

I am starting to understand that this is not really a safe world, anyway.

When I became a chimney sweep in 1982, then added window cleaning to the mix in 1986, I had no idea of the coming dangers I would face.

In 1984, at dusk, after a thirteen hour work day, traveling at least 70 mph, I drove under a bobtail truck parked partially in my highway lane. I saw the back of the truck before impact and found myself standing outside of my little Toyota, in the middle of Hwy 30 near Greenville, the cab sheared off. I was taken to the hospital. I suffered only a cut to my scalp (3-4 stitches) and a cervical strain. I joked that the angel twisted my neck when he jerked me out by the head. Wendy took me home the next day.

I have discovered that Satan hates window cleaners and sends his air force after them on a regular basis. (Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but sometimes we do have to fight those demon red wasps.) I have no idea how many times I have been stung (hundreds) but I can guarantee you there were dead demon bodies after each one. About 12 years ago, though, I had my first allergic reaction to the stings, and I would take some benadryl and sit in my truck for an hour as I went through some sort of foggy twilight zone experience. Finally, I got some epi pens. I would always finish the job and drive home.

One time, a builder asked me to power wash a metal roof. I didn’t want to do it, but I bid it high, hoping he would turn me down. He accepted. I got about 3/4 of the job done, my pressure washer ran out of gas, and I went down to refuel, and get some water to drink. When I went back to the roof, I had unknowingly gotten a little wet sand on the bottom of my shoes. As soon as I started to spray, my feet slipped I slid on my back trying to grab anything I could to stop the slide, sliced the heck out of the tips of my fingers on my left hand. I landed on the deck, unhurt, but bleeding. Wrapped my hand with a towel and duct tape, loaded my equipment and drove home. I did not finish the job.

Once, I was cleaning a fairly high window on a deck, and, trying to save a step, I tried to reach a little higher than I should, my ladder slipped. I wasn’t real high, so I rode the ladder down, and , I would have been fine, except my heel, resting on the rung, took the impact and cracked in three places. The owner helped me load my equipment, I drove home, and took off 6 weeks.

Remember in 2018, one week after the most severe wasp reaction, when I stepped onto a roof, my on-the-roof ladder leg caught the top of my on-the-ground ladder, and set me just a little bit off balance. I stepped to catch myself, stepped onto air, and fell 12 feet onto my back, breaking 6-12 ribs. I finished the job, had the owner’s son help me load my stuff, drove home, went to the hospital. I took off 2 weeks.

And, then, this last fall, 13 feet, onto a child’s wooden picnic table, on my back, breaking my left scapula, and fracturing and compressing my T4 vertebra. I couldn’t raise my left arm, so one-handed I loaded my equipment, drove myself home, and Wendy took me to the hospital. A blood test found me to be anemic. I was back to work in 4 weeks.

And when I returned to work, I was stung once the first week (epi pen used), and again the second week (oops, using the remaining epi pen, I thought, “That didn’t hurt at all!” Then I saw that it was a trainer, a pen to practice the epi pen maneuver) so I took one benadryl and itched like crazy all the way home.

The anemia prompted a colonoscopy to find the reason for the anemia, and the doctor discovered a cancer growth in my colon.

I haven’t mentioned the time when I worked for Dr Pepper and was robbed at gunpoint by two men in South Oak Cliff.

Or the time when I worked for Pepsi Cola and we were told to take our trucks out on the day of an ice storm. As I was going down a hill, there was a guy in a car in front of me, facing the wrong way on the right side of the road. He looked my way and jumped out of his car and ran from it. I looked in my mirror and saw my trailer swinging past me on my right side. It corrected itself when it smashed this guy’s car.

Why I am I telling you all this? I have spent my life working, trying to do a good job, trying to provide for my family. Any one of these “accidents” could have ended my life.

LIFE IS NOT SAFE!

It has never been safe.

We don’t see the statistics now about how many people die every day from NON-COVID-19 related deaths. But, we have to realize that death is part of the process of life. We all get to try it. We usually can’t predict its timing.

Why did I keep going back to work if it was so dangerous?

Because, so many times in the Bible, Old Testament, New Testament, the words appear, “FEAR NOT…DO NOT BE AFRAID…FOR I AM WITH YOU!”

There wasn’t a single one of these incidents I have mentioned that the government offered me any protection.

I had to make the decision, do I want to be safe to stay alive, or do I want to Live?

Jesus said that He came so that I could have a Life that I had never experienced before: a life of joys, sorrows, ups, downs, falls, recoveries. He offered me a life where I could find His strength in times when mine was gone.

I wonder how many of us are letting a fear of a disease disrupt our need to be together in fellowship? Intimate times with family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ have been closed down because of social distancing and mask wearing. And people continue to get tested positive for Covid, by the millions, and, a fraction of one percent actually die.

But the government says that this is apparently the worst thing we have ever seen, and we have to do these things that separate us to protect us.

I didn’t ask the government to protect me from disease or the natural hazards I may face in everyday life.

Is that what you want?

The riches of life are found when we realize that life is not safe.

But this Life, in Jesus, is GOOD.

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