FARGO — Last week I wrote about the painful and tragic death of my son’s close friend and fellow US Army soldier, Erick Rios. Rios was the victim of an intentional hit-and-run act of a driver while riding his motorcycle on Interstate 25.
What I did not share was that my son was on his motorcycle riding next to Rios when the incident took place. The driver of the car hit both young men on their motorcycles. My son was able to keep his motorcycle upright, narrowly miss a guardrail and maneuver his bike into the median. He had the strength to ride his bike in the median for a quarter of a mile before hitting a concrete drainage culvert and being thrown off his bike.
When I arrived in Colorado Springs, Colo, my son and daughter-in-law picked me up at the airport. Immediately after getting in their vehicle my son asked if I wanted to visit the scene of the incident. I replied, yes. My daughter-in-law asked him if he was sure he was ready to visit the scene. It was one week after the incident and he had yet to go back there. He said he was ready.
As we drove down the interstate, I looked at the slope into the median, the miles of guardrails, and the many obstacles one could hit riding their motorcycle in the median. I realized, struck with the visual reality, it was a miracle my son was alive.
Something powerful hit me as we stopped on a frontage road gazing at the scene of the incident. The last six years of my son’s life flashed in my mind. When he was 18, he barely weighed enough to join the army. However, he became focused on going to the gym and gaining muscle mass and he has put on 60 pounds of muscle. Without that muscle mass he would not have survived.
As I reflected on his muscle mass saving him, I thought back to the last six months. He developed asthma after his deployment to the mid-East in 2019. This spring he had wrist surgery. His contract with the U.S. Army expires in January of 2021 and he is retiring. He had three solid reasons to stop going to the gym in the last 6 months. He chose not to. A month ago, he came to visit us. We found a gym for him to go to every day. Some days he went twice.
Our daily disciplines make a lifetime difference. We do not always know or see the difference they make or when they will make a difference. But they do. They will. Sooner or later we reap what we sow.
Ephesians chapter six, verses seven through ten, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people ….”
Hauser is a pastor and leadership coach and can be reached at [email protected]