The number of the beast (Rev. 13:18) seemed to be a popular fad in 70's and early 80's rock-n-roll. Idealized by bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, we got used to Satan Rock and backwards masking. Possibly the adolescent passion of a misguided rockstar or a grand marketing ploy by corporate America, it was successful in bringing the number 666 into the minds of the masses. The church railed against it from the pulpit and in books. Entire ministries were formed to combat the frenzied flow of evil. Groupies of the bands wore it proudly on t-shirts and tattoos. You can easily find reproductions of those album covers from that era on the 'Net today.
I didn't really want to ascribe much credence to the whole thing. I honestly expected that the number of the beast was something that we would hear about in the end times; if we lived until that time. I read the books that said it was the three empty bar-code separators on everything we purchased. But that was about all the attention that I gave the number until about 8 years ago.
At the time I taught computers a Christian High School about an hour from my home. On the way to work I would pray and listen to worship music with my then 4th grade daughter. We talked about the Bible, Jesus, church, Heaven and a host of much more important things like American Girl dolls, her pet rabbit and bicycles. We set aside one day to pray out-loud, one to listen to a Christian radio show and another to talk about anything she wanted to talk about. Friday was donut day and we'd stop and get a Boston Cream donut for each of us.
During that Fall I bought a new car as my old one gave out stranding us on the Interstate. I remember one particular "prayer day" my daughter was praying for God to heal her little sister's allergies and protect us all. A sense of darkness fell over the car. She hadn't finished saying, "Amen," when a pickup truck two cars ahead of us lost its 8' aluminum camper cap. It seemed to come from out of the sky, smashing to the pavement just in front of us. Traveling in the left-lane, I yanked the wheel to the right, cutting across the right-lane and into the breakdown-lane. The car behind us hit the cap head on on. With shards of glass flying everywhere, they were rear-ended by the two cars behind them. As we came to a stop in the breakdown-lane and caught our breath, my daughter looked down at the odometer and read aloud the mileage, "666," she said. Out hearts still racing we just sat for a minute or two stunned at the events that had just taken place. Coincidence? I don't think so.