The 99.18% Chance of Survival

I woke up this morning. And I smiled.

Not such a big deal when millions do it every morning.

But today was different.

If you can get past the embedded morbidity of my following  thought, I believe you might just get the point.

You see, I had this not-so-fleeting sense upon waking.  I know it’s not uncommon to have, and I’ve had it before. Only when it happened before, I cried.

I had a sense that I might just die today. Very seriously, die. Croak my last and keel over. Kick the bucket, take  the big nose dive, whatever you want to call it.

No idea how or when. It could be in the middle of writing th


Okay, that was the extent of the morbid part, but it got me to thinking, as such things ought.

Statistically speaking, I have a 99.18% chance of surviving until tomorrow.

That means there is a high probability I will, indeed, finish this story and get it posted.

But I digress once again.


So why did I smile this morning when once before I cried?

I’m not looking forward to dying. I don’t do pain well, however, it’s an inevitability of living.  I suppose the smile comes at this point in my life because I am quite happy with who I have become.  Granted, it has taken nearly 53 years to arrive at this point but with most of my life behind me, I’m pretty set in my ways and I like the ways I am living now.

That wasn’t always the case

I’m far from having the most toys.  I own very little and I earn even less. I’m not well traveled. The most crucial part of my life’s education has only just begun.  I have my childrens’ weddings to attend, grandbabies to hold and very likely, many more sad moments of losing ones I have loved who will pass before my time. My bucket list, I am quite certain, will receive fewer check marks than I will ever hope to give.

But I pause to consider what I have.

If I were to beat the odds and die today, I would die with optimism, hope and vision.  I would die running with my life in hand and very little else, tangibly speaking.

I believe life is more than acquisition.

The gathering of experiences, things and moments make for great memories and fun.  We all will continue this gathering until we can gather no more, and that’s expected.

The difference for me is not a tally of these things but a knowledge I am firmly on the path to receive them should they come my way.  The path.

The path IS the destination.

There will always be one better toy, one better time, one better moment to be experienced.  But if you set your sights on these peripherals, you will die with regrets and an insatiable hunger for that one last whatever.

I now know my God when I once did not.

I’m reminded of the story about how His lamp illuminates only the ground underneath our feet as we walk through life. Rarely does He shine a flashlight into the distance along our path as we may become afraid to take the next step, fear the duration of our journey or retreat from what lies up ahead.

The path. That’s it. Period.

When you emerge from the underbrush and find that path, it is immediately apparent.  It’s what you have sought because you know where it leads. There is a peace and a calming pace. You enjoy what’s under your feet each moment. No concern for anything out of the light He provides you. No preoccupation with arriving.

Because you know you’ll wake up with a smile when you do.




One thought on “The 99.18% Chance of Survival

  1. Loved this article Donny. I’ve always said to my kids and the kids I teach who would listen(not sure any do) that life is about the journey . Of course, I could never say it as well as you do! I’m getting the feeling that my old friend quirky /funny/humble Donny is making a more frequent appearance these days.

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