This past October, I had a serious car accident in which I managed to drive up a guide wire, hit a telephone pole eight feet off the ground, and knock down a transformer. At this point, my car spun completely around in the direction from which I came and rolled over.  I was knocked unconscious, so don’t remember a thing. Witnesses say that all of my windows shattered into little sparkling pieces and all of the “stuff” in my car went flying.  Paper, paper, everywhere!  

I had been cleaning out my office and had many files and books in my car.  I am not quite sure what I lost materially, but I know I did not — thanks be to God — lose my life or my limbs. What I gained, in a word, is perspective

In the past, friends have helped me clean and file and they’d ask, “Do you really need this? Really, Lisa, be honest.”  “Yes,” I would answer, as I retrieved a book out of the ‘giveaway’ pile or snatched a copy of an article out of the recycling box.  

Since one of my core values is simplicity, losing things is not a bad teacher.  Losing things has the potential to help us “turn round right.”    

Witnesses of my crash also wondered how I could have survived.  Since I did survive, I feel I owe it to God and my family to actually live into my true values and be aware of what I treasure most . . . people, not things.  

As I enter the season of Thanksgiving and Advent,  I will continue to pray for eyes to see what is truly essential, a heart brimming full with gratitude, and a head that has the good sense to travel lightly towards Bethlehem.  If we join Mary on that burro, we will carry the one thing needful, one treasure only — our Lord and Christ.   

Lisa Mullen is the Director of Children & Family Life Ministries for the Moravian Church, Southern Province.