When my husband and I decided to build our home, we were very excited. But before long, the house began to dominate our lives. Every evening, immediately after work, my husband would go out to work on the house. As building progressed, I helped too. Our apartment was neglected, and the children had to fit into our building schedule. Everything took second place to the house.
Finally it was finished, and we moved in with high hopes and wonderful plans. All that remained was to furnish and decorate our new home.
Then the car broke down. The vacuum quit. The sewing machine needed repairs. We had much sickness, with its accompanying medical expenses. Finally we bought a new car, which put a real strain on our budget. It was all very discouraging. I could see only one solution: make more money. It was all I could think about.
Then some friends came for a long weekend visit, and we all went to the canyon for family night. It was quite late when we started home, and as we drove through the darkness, my mind wandered back to our many worries.
Suddenly the headlights of an oncoming car were bright in our eyes, and a wayward cow moved from that lane into ours. “We’ll miss it somehow,” I thought. We didn’t. My husband’s face went white with fear, and we hit the cow going fifty-five miles an hour. We didn’t even have time to brake. The cow crumpled the engine hood, shattered the windshield, then flew over the top of the car.
I prayed, “Oh, Heavenly Father, please don’t let anything happen to my husband or the children.” Then time stood still. Seconds later, I looked at the broken windshield and realized that the child on my lap was screaming. But there was no glass in her face and no blood; she was frightened but unhurt. Everyone in the car was all right.
It took us some time to get home, and all the while I thought about what had almost happened. What if one of us had been killed? I didn’t think about our ruined new car, our money problems, our bare walls, our broken vacuum cleaner or sewing machine. Suddenly things had been brought back into perspective.
I will never forget that night, for it taught me a much-needed lesson:
“Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. …
“But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. …
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:15, 31, 34.)
Now we have another precious child, and I have learned to put my family first. How grateful I am for this lesson—and that I could learn it without losing my family.