May 19, 2011

Car Accidents

In 2004 I turned the blessed age of 16. This was a great day. This meant that I had freedom; that freedom came in the form of a driver's licence. Best day ever. I completed all of those painstakingly long hours of driving time, passed my tests, and waited for what seemed like 87 hours at the DMV for my little card of freedom. I felt like a rock star the first time I took my mom's gold mini van out for a spin by myself. I was pretty classy. About a month after I got my licence I decided to take a little trip to to visit the shoe section of Target. Not finding anything to my liking, I headed back out into the sunny day to claim my sweet mini van. I pulled out of my parking stall when to my horror I heard a tremendous CRUNCH. "Oh snap." I thought to myself. This was not good. I got out to assess the damage. I had dented and scratched the corner of a hunter green Subaru Outback. Panicking, I began to pray that the owner of the car would come out quickly so I could explain what had happened. I had never felt so bad in my life. Luckily, in just a few minutes time they came, puzzled by the frantic teenager who, close to a total meltdown, was standing next to their car. I explained what happened, we swapped insurance, I drove home in shame as hot tears fell down my cheeks, adding insult to injury.

That week continued, and I put my misery aside, looking forward to the big homecoming game that Friday night. I had decided to go to the gym before the game, and having gotten over my latest rendezvous with danger, I decided to drive there myself. On my way there, there was a steady line of cars, and I was patiently waiting, rocking out to the latest and greatest hit on the radio. Things picked up and we were moving. All too soon though, the cars in front of me slammed on their brakes as a car made a sudden left hand turn. I too had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of me. I quickly checked my rear view mirrors, noticed that the truck behind me was getting awfully close awfully fast when, SLAM. This was shaping out the be a great week. I gingerly pulled over to the side of the road as best as I could, and saw the man behind me cursing his fate. The emotion overcomes me, and I began to cry. A sweet mom who was behind the man that hit me stopped, and let me use her cell phone to call my mother. "Mom!" I bawled into the phone. "I just got hit! I'm never driving again!!" She did her best to console me, and came to the scene of the accident.

Needless to say, it was not the luckiest week I had ever had as a new driver. After this happened, I was very hesitant to get back in a car. I didn't matter that I had safely arrived to and from point A to point B for years without a problem. Getting back into the car terrified me. Every time I had to, my body would tense up, I would have this fearful feeling in my heart, and a overwhelming sense of nausea. It was somewhat less than pleasant. Eventually, I was able to overcome these feelings of fear by facing them. It wasn't an option to never ride in a car again. Ultimately, I would have to do it, and by facing my fears I was able to overcome them.

Other times in my life I have felt as though I have been in what you could call a "Spiritual car accident." Once I was offended. Once I had sinned. Once I was complacent. Once I was rebellious. Once I just didn't want to  do what I needed to do. Whenever these things would happen, I found myself slipping further and further away from the light of the gospel, and it became almost uncomfortable to be in a spiritual setting again. I felt as if I was getting back into the car after the accident. I would tense up, get that all too familiar fearful feeling in my heart, and have a overwhelming sense of nausea. Despite all of this, I knew what I knew. I knew that the Book of Mormon was true, and the the Gospel of Jesus Christ had been restored. It was just painful to live it at times. These "Spiritual car accidents" left me feeling broken, and in need of some spiritual repair.

After his resurrection and ascension into heaven, Jesus Christ came to visit the people of the American continent. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is a record of this visit. He speaks to the people of all the destruction that has happened at the sign of his death, as was foretold by ancient prophets. He then offers this invitation. "...Will ye now return unto me, and repent of you sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?" This invitation is not just extended for those that lived in Ancient America in 34 AD. Jesus Christ offers the same healing power today to each of us through the miracle of his Atonement. "Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me." (3 Nephi 9:13-14) 

Each of those times that I was in one of those spiritual wrecks, my Savior Jesus Christ was the one to pull me out, and heal me. I know that this is done through the power of his Atoning sacrifice that can heal, and cleanse us, and give us the strength to do seemingly impossible things. The closer I came to Christ, the more I was healed. It was uncomfortable at first, and I wanted to quit, but my faith was what saw me through. Yours can too. Trust the savior. Repent, be converted, and let him heal you.