A few Saturdays ago, I needed to stop by Wal-Mart. I asked my husband if he wanted to go with me. Because what guy wouldn’t want to stop watching college football and go to Wal-Mart with his wife? We put on our shoes and headed out the door. While stopped at a stop sign waiting to turn left on a major road by our home, we watched another car run through a stop sign and get t-boned by an SUV. It was quite the surreal moment. It felt like slow motion as we watched the two cars collide.
What happened next we didn’t expect. The force of the collision propelled one of the cars in our direction. We braced ourselves for impact. Thankfully neither my husband nor I was hurt and our car had minimal damage. We stayed at the scene of the accident for over an hour as police took our statement and wrote their report.
That night we had the responsibility to volunteer at a church dance for the youth in our church congregation and from surrounding congregations. Because of the accident, we were tight on time. We headed to Wal-Mart, stopped by home to change our clothes, grabbed some Wendy’s for dinner, and headed to the dance.
While sitting at the registration table at the dance, I told my husband how much I really wished we weren’t at the dance. I don’t mind volunteering one bit, but because of the accident, there were things I needed to get done that I wasn’t able to complete. We were headed out of the country in two days, and my time to get things done was finite.
He seemed surprised by my statement. He then wisely and gently reminded me how fortunate we had been that the accident had not been any worse for us. Suddenly, I felt ashamed. I thought of the other individuals involved in the accident and the pain they were likely still experiencing at that exact moment. I felt so selfish and self-absorbed. Even after being in an accident that had significant negative consequences for others, I was still focused on myself and the “inconvenience” it had been for me.
I thought of how blessed we had been just a few hours prior and silently said a prayer of repentance. I apologized to Heavenly Father for my ingratitude. It’s so easy to make life “all about me” – especially when there is a lot going on.
As I think back on this experience, my mind is drawn to a scene on Calvary’s Hill nearly 2,000 years ago. There Jesus Christ, while in extreme pain and anguish, thought about others. He turned to his disciple John and asked him to care for his Mother Mary (John 19:27). He also turned to God the Father and asked Him to forgive those who had persecuted Christ because Christ knew that these individuals did not fully understand the significance of their actions (Luke 23:34).
My challenge to each of us, especially to myself, is to think more of others in the good times, the blessed times, the hard times, and the dark times. I know for me that when I have done this that is when I have felt Christ reaching out to support me and help me.
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