I’ve been in an accident.

I’ve been in an accident. These are the words you don’t want to hear. Then I got the call early morning last Friday from my wife.

When you hear things that make your heart stop it seems everything slows down and you’re aware of more. I could hear my wife’s voice being a little shaky. I think I probably was a little shaky. I asked her if she was okay and she responded confidently that she was. I asked her about the other person and she said that she was okay. We could end it right now and say well accidents happen, but both people walked away and everything’s okay. But there is more that I learned from this experience.

Stop look and live.

Stop, look, and listen. When I was growing up, there was a railroad promotion to save lives. When approaching the railroad tracks, you were to stop, look around, and listened for an approaching train. This approach was what I did after the accident.

When this accident happened, I had to stop everything that I was doing. That morning I was busy getting the kids ready for school and preparing for a trip out of town. I had luggage to pack in the car and finish getting ready myself. I had less than 15 minutes to get it all finished. The moment she called, everything stopped. This is so important. Sometimes we still want to multitask while we’re in a difficult situation or moment. Some things need your attention. Stop. Be focused and finish the thing that requires you at the moment.

Look. Let me set up this scene. I had to drive to the accident scene which was 15 miles away and wasn’t exactly sure aware they would be on the road. As I was driving up to the traffic light, I could see them all pulled off the main driving lanes and in between lanes with a state trooper behind the two vehicles. The father of the young girl that rear-ended my wife was there comforting and checking on his daughter. There was a median that separated the roads so I had to first pass them so I could turn around to get to them. As I passed the accident scene everything stopped for me. My eyes froze on my wife as she was leaning on our newly damaged vehicle with her head down. I could see both vehicles with their damages. I could see the young girl being consoled by her father. But as I looked at my wife, I stopped and stared. It could have been much worse. She could have been in the back of the ambulance. The accident only shook her up and made her sore from the impact. The vehicles are just metal and plastic and can be repaired and replaced. People are invaluable. They can’t be replaced.

I was so thankful that she was ok and able to speak to me once I arrived. I kept hugging her and checking to make sure she didn’t need any medical attention at the moment. The point I’m making is to look. Your life is happening today. 

Look at what is important in your life. Not just superficially. Things that have a value that can’t be replaced. Care for these things. Hold these things close to your heart.

Live. Live it like it means you to.

Living means alive. Feeling, breathing, laughing. Think like a child. Enjoying the day and exploring what can happen in it.

Another way you can say the word is as an adjective or adverb. (Saturday Night Live or Facebook Live) It’s like to say it’s “now”. This also describes a great way to live. Now. Be here now. Don’t be somewhere else doing something else. Be. Here. Now.

When I stop, look at what is important, I can live for it.

Life escapes us when we aren’t living it. Don’t you think you can take some of this to heart? Slow down and stop more. Look around at the things that make life important. This recent moment was definitely an accident but it has reminded and taught me to live it with intentional purpose every day.

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