I thought back to the day my grandfather passed away. How we received the phone call from one of my aunts around 4:30am telling me his breathing had changed and we needed to get out there. We got up, got ready (and I grabbed extra clothes so I could stay with my family a few days), and headed out. Being that the drive was around 45 minutes to an hour, we had to stop at a gas station since we were low. I was feeling quite panicked, and found it difficult to even breathe. While Wes was pumping gas, I looked at the clock...5:15am. All of a sudden a wave of sadness came over me. The panic was gone, I could breathe normally again, but I was overwhelmed with sadness. We finally arrived at the house around 6am or so and my mom came outside to meet me. She told me he died at about 5:15am.
And even though I never knew this man personally, I can recall all the details going on when I learned of Steve Irwin's death. It was late and I was tired and was ready to go to bed. Wes was already asleep and all the lights were off and I was on the computer wrapping up. I was about ready to shut down the computer when I just felt an urge to stay online for another hour. Being that it was already around 12:30am, there wasn't exactly a lot happening in the online world so it made no sense for me to think that I needed to stay up that extra time. But the urge remained so I played around on Yahoo games for awhile, bored out of my mind and wanting so bad to go to sleep. Approximately an hour later, I got off the games, refreshed my home page and a picture of Steve Irwin appeared with a blaring headline that read "Crocodile Hunter feared dead." A few minutes later, another headline appeared confirming that it was, in fact, Steve Irwin who died. While he had passed away over a day prior to the headline appearing, we were just receiving word of it in the States. I remember covering my mouth so I wouldn't wake up Wes with my sobs. But it brought me right back to when I was sitting at a gas station, looking at a clock that read 5:15am.
It's a bit eerie, isn't it? To have a moments in which you don't know why you're noticing something or feeling something, but you just notice it or feel it. But sometimes I wonder if this is God preparing us for moments that we need to be ready for. Moments that can rock our world, moments that seem to suspend reality for us...is God cluing us in to what's ahead? And don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about some psychic ability. That would be absurd to peg me as that kind of believer. But I am not ruling out the possibility that God can and some times does do things that are clues to what we need to be ready for...particularly if it's something that will deeply affect us.
I had no appetite when my grandfather died. We all went out to eat that day as a big family and I couldn't finish even half of my meal. I remember a comment being made to me that I should eat since someone else was paying for me. But I just couldn't get the food down...otherwise it would come right back up. I could barely sleep for days and when I did sleep, I had dreams that haunted me. Though I never knew Steve Irwin, I cried for days on end after his death...being that what he did was something I felt so deeply about. I'm sure many of those tears were also from unresolved grief over my grandfather. However in the midst of both of those situations, and others, I was comforted by the knowledge that somehow, at particular times, I had been prepared. I was prepared for a storm I was about to face. I won't sit here and pretend that my sadness over Steve Irwin is matched with that of the rest of the Irwin family. Hardly. But I bring it up because of my own experiences of noticing the time of things...and seeing how others have experienced it as well when it was mentioned that Bindi took notice of the time.
Do I believe that God will always give me some divine revelation prior to an event or right at the moment of an event when I haven't yet learned of it? No. But I do believe there are times when God gives us a sign in order to prepare our hearts...as if He were saying "there's something you need to know...here's a small insight." And not that I believe there's something going to happen every moment that I want to know what time it is...but I've also learned to not ignore something God is very clearly putting in front of me.
Photo of tv preview by Mary King (me)