Recently I was invited to speak at a business conference in Pennsylvania. I left on a Friday morning to drive to the location near Hershey. It was a foggy start that soon cleared into a spectacular autumn day. As I traveled on the interstate I thought and prayed about the meeting where I was scheduled to speak. I had worked with this organization before and knew many of the business owners who would be in attendance. I especially prayed for God to give me what everyone needed to hear.
I often listen to Christian praise and worship music as I drive and was in the flow of the music when I noticed something unusual. I had just left the edge of a city and as I passed beneath an overpass, I saw flashing lights on the bridge. The structure was filled with multiple emergency vehicles. There were fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances, all with lights burning and rotating. But the most unusual thing were the dozens of firemen and other safety professionals standing, bareheaded, on the bridge.
At first, I thought that either there was an emergency nearby and the vehicles were waiting to see if they were needed, or that a prominent public official was about to arrive. I continued to drive and quickly forgot about the scene but when I approached the next overpass I, again, saw that the bridge was crowded with firetrucks and other emergency vehicles, with safety professionals standing by their vehicles.
As I drove on, I passed under thirteen bridges, over a forty-mile stretch of highway, that were ALL filled with fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances with men and women standing, in full uniform, bareheaded, on each concrete span. Everyone seemed to be just watching and waiting as the traffic passed beneath.
I had begun counting the bridges, out of curiosity, and just as I passed under the thirteenth overpass, I saw what everyone was waiting for. Coming in the opposite direction were, at least, twenty-five state police cars, with blue lights blazing, followed by dozens of fire trucks, with red lights equally in play. Then I saw a lone gray and white hearse followed by dozens more firetrucks and police cars. Whoever that hearse contained was the reason for the extraordinary display I was witnessing.
I do not know the identity of the fallen fireman. I have no knowledge of the person’s life or accomplishments. But I recognize that something about this individual must have inspired and blessed people on such a scale that hundreds of people, even from different fire departments, turned out to honor the memory of their comrade.
Are you living a life that will leave a legacy? Are you invested in people? Are you daily fulfilling God’s perfect purpose? Are you spreading love and offering help? Are you doing good and building dreams?
How will you be remembered?
The Bible says in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” NIV