Several times a year, starting when I was a young teenager and continuing for well over 20 years, I had a recurring dream that I would die on September 23rd.
It wasn’t a long dream – more of a snippet, really. Like a commercial break between my regularly scheduled dreams. As one dream would taper to an end, suddenly a large calendar would pop up and the pages would start flip, flip, flipping (like they do in old movies to show the passage of time) and eventually come to a stop on September 23rd. No year visible.
There was nothing else to it, but it was very clear to me that September 23rd would be the day I died.
I don’t know why, but I took it very seriously. Every year when September 23rd rolled around, I would be extremely cautious and wouldn’t even leave the house if I could avoid it. Better safe than sorry, right?
So anyway, fast forward to September 23, 1996. I’m on the expressway, driving (very carefully) to work. I was driving along, minding my own business, when I spotted a man standing on the overpass. He had long hair and a beard and was wearing only a pair of cut-off blue jean shorts. He was looking out over the expressway with his arms spread out to the sides, sort of leaning on the fencing.
My first thought as I went under the overpass was, “Wow, that guy looks like Jesus.” And when I glanced in my rearview mirror to take another look – he was gone. Just that fast.
A more religious person than I might think that it was indeed Jesus, there to save me from a messy freeway death on September 23rd. I suppose that’s always possible, but I would have to question why. I certainly haven’t done anything spectacular in my life to warrant having been saved.
But after that day, I never had the dream again. Weird, right?
So even though I believe the September 23rd ship of death has sailed, I still get a little nervous this time of year – and feel very blessed when I wake up on the 24th.