This Shabbat, I will (b"n) be saying Birchat haGomel , the special prayer one offers in a public forum after one's life has been spared by accident, illness, childbirth, travel, or some other potentially dangerous situation.
OK, so there are lots of good reasons to thank G-d.... this despite a U.S. economy spinning out of control, the fact that we have already begun seeing the repercussions over here in Israel, and many other tragedies...
It just takes a second and a half, and an exercise in imagination, to understand what was, versus what could have been...
Yesterday I was returning from the bar mitzvah of a patient who has recently completed treatment for leukemia (in and of its own, a reason to celebrate). Driving from there to work (for the first time all week, thanks to a nasty flu virus) I almost lost my way, when suddenly I realized I'd been paying way too much attention to the signs along the road, and not enough attention to the traffic that had come to a complete standstill in front of me.
With a second to spare I looked left, saw there was no oncoming traffic, and pulled into the next lane, giving me time to brake slowly and safely. I have very little doubt that this one critical second was the difference between me continuing my day as an employee in the hospital, and not as an emergency room patient.
הודו לה' כי טוב, כי לעולם חסדו.