A Wake Up Call
How does a person respond to disaster in their life? Our editor Tim shares about his experience after an accident and how it reoriented his priorities in life.
About half a year ago, I was in my first major car accident. It was early Sunday morning. I had to wake up early to drive my parents to the airport despite being exhausted after a long week at work, including working on Saturday. My parents were heading back to Hong Kong to do some sightseeing in China. My family had moved to Toronto when I was around 6 years old. But most of our relatives are still in Hong Kong, and I can still call it home.
I got into the car only to realize that not only did it snow last night, but there was a layer of ice underneath it as well.
Even though I drive across the city everyday for work and I grew up in Toronto, driving in winter still sucks! I drove ever so slowly and finally arrived at the airport safe and sound. Coincidentally, I saw a friend from church who was also dropping off his parents as well. After bidding farewell to my parents, we both set off to church.
As I was leaving the airport, I had gotten on to the wrong highway ramp and ended up going the wrong direction towards church. I wanted to exit as soon as possible. As I pulled on to the exit ramp, it was quite icy and bumpy. The salt had not fully melted the ice. Then BAM! A car hits me from behind and my car began to spin. My car continued to spin and I felt another bigger impact as I hit the barrier. Gathering everything I’ve learned from video games, I was able to stop the car and straighten it on the shoulder. I sat in my car with disbelief, just taking deep breaths. It all happened very quickly, and I was still in shock and wondering whether it really happened. (An actual photo of my car is above.)
A tow truck and police came not long afterwards. The police said we had to go to the collision reporting centre to make the report. I had to sit in the collision reporting centre for the longest time. However, I was very much at peace. And the song Come Thou Fount began to play in my head as I was sitting there waiting.
Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.
Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.
PRAISE THE LORD! Let us break out into “songs of loudest praise” because I still can do it with my horrible voice and all. It is by God’s grace and protection that I can sit here not many hours afterwards writing this down. It’s still shocking how it all happened but not shocking at all that God has remained to be faithful through it all. I am always and forever grateful for the people that God has used to witness into my life. Despite my parents flying off to the other side of the planet, this group of “Uncles” and “Aunties” pour out their love and care for me.
Looking back prior to the accident, I had entrenched my life around work. I was placed in a leadership position for an important project and that became my world; my god. I would be working day and night, even on weekends, in order to get everything done. The accident definitely was a slap-in-the-face type of reminder. It gave me a moment to stop and realize where my life was heading. I was definitely not “fixed on the mount of thy redeeming love.” Thank you for His redeeming love that is faithful and forgiving. That I may find freedom in it and truly live.
Editor’s Note: Coincidentally, when all of this happened, it was around the same time I made the decision to start up WitnessTO. Toronto consists of ~3 million people (5.5 million including the Greater Toronto Area). That’s 10% of the population of Canada. It is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It is the world at our doorstep. It is a world waiting to know Jesus. Each of us carries around with us our own story of God’s redeeming love, of His faithfulness, of His healing and of His grace. Our prayer is that this site will be an avenue for people to share those stories. We pray that this site will be a blessing to you and God will speak to you through it.
Slider credit: nat urazmetova