Focused on the Important This Christmas

Posted on: 12/23/10 1:44 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Last week one of our “The Source for Youth Ministry” board members, John, and his wife Heather were hit by a drunk driver on the way home from a church dinner.

By God’s grace, both of them walked away from the accident… with a huge change of perspective!

Americans sometimes are distracted by materialism, especially during the holiday season. Events like this tend to wake us up to what’s really important in life. Here’s the email my friend John sent out the night of the accident- some great words of wisdom:  (emphasis mine)

Last night on the way home from the (church) dinner Heather and were hit by a drunk driver. We were traveling west on Douglas Blvd towards home in my GMC Denali when I noticed in the rearview mirror a car approaching from behind very fast. I had just enough time to shout out to Heather that we were going to get hit right before the impact. The rear end impact was pretty violent and it put us into a spin pushing us over the curb and into the landscape/sidewalk. As we were spinning we struck a tree on the right front, deploying the air bags. Miraculously, we threaded and bounced through 5 other trees narrowly missing any broadside impacts, coming to rest backwards against the residential block sound wall. The truck is totaled but we were spared, praise God! 

The CHP officer and a witness both estimated the speed of the car that hit us to be 90-100 MPH. The only skid marks at the accident were from our truck so we received the full impact of his speed. After impact, he bounced off us and went into the center median and struck a pine tree across the road. He stumbled across the street after the accident totally oblivious to us, I’m not sure if he knew he hit us. CHP confirmed he was very drunk, he was taken to the hospital and then most likely to jail. We were well taken care of.   The first fireman on the scene was an old friend from (our church), our insurance agent and good friend Jeff came to the site with a jacket for Heather, we were on the phone with our pastor Ray within a few minutes of the accident and our Men’s pastor Greg came to check on us and give us a ride home!
We are both doing well today other than having soreness in our necks from the whiplash. Obviously we are very thankful for God’s provision of safety, I guess He decided that our work here isn’t finished. This is the first time I’ve been involved in an accident of this nature and it’s interesting to me how these things can be confusing and clarifying at the same time. Confusing in that we will always wonder why things like this happen, and there will be ramifications from this that we’ll have to deal with that don’t make sense. But more importantly, these types of experiences provide clarity about what is really important in life and who is in control. Our immediate reaction after the accident wasn’t to check the car for damage, but rather to get out of the car and hug each other, tears of joy and thankfulness to our God for sparing us from injury. Our minds jumped right to the “what if” scenarios. What if we had hit that tree? What if the kids had been in the car? What if we’d been in a smaller car? In the initial moments, and upon reflection today, we are reminded of how fragile life is and how quickly circumstances in life can change. Because of this experience, today my thoughts have been focused on the love of my God, my wife, my family and my friends. Is there anything more important? My prayer is that I won’t lose this perspective and that my life won’t be the same. I’m grateful to God for this gentle reminder of HIs love, and the love we share through the common bond of our Savior Jesus Christ.
I hear John loud and clear. Earlier this year I received a phone call from my wife that she and my daughter Ashley had just been in an accident (I tell that story here). These moments remind us of the important things in life: our relationship with God and our relationship with others.
I pray that you all experience some great time with family and with God your Father this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas!

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