Just one week ago, the phone rang at 11:40 P.M.
Her shaking voice said, “Mom, I’m okay, but . . .” Then she told me how two cars collided in front of her on the freeway and spun out. She had seen headlights coming at her. Thankfully, she was about four seconds behind the accident, which gave her enough time to come to a complete stop and avoid hitting the other cars.
When she got home, we hugged her and let her know that from now on she’s not allowed to leave the house—ever—unless we drive her and she’s wrapped in bubble wrap.
Ha. Just kidding.
She got back in the car on Monday and drove our other kids to school.
I’m not trying to be blasé about how close she came to that accident. We would love to do everything in all of our power to keep our kids safe. And, frankly, losing a child is really a parent’s worst fear. (For my friends who have lived through that, it’s their worst reality.) Still, we can’t let fear rule.
I can’t stop walking on a path because a man might rent a truck, drive on the path, then randomly start hitting people. I can’t stop going to music concerts. I can’t stop worshiping with other believers. I can’t stop my kids from growing up—well, not if I want them to be responsible, contributing members of society.
We protect ourselves by locking the doors, using seat belts, teaching safety precautions, and prepping for emergency situations. We pray for those who protect our borders, putting themselves in danger so we are not only safe but also free. We thank God who protected us from eternal evil by sending Jesus to live for us and to defeat death for us.
Then we live, knowing we will die—whether in an accident, through illness, or in our sleep. I don’t mean to be a buzzkill, but living as if death is not a reality isn’t honest. Acting as if we have ultimate control is ultimate arrogance. Worrying doesn’t actually make us safer.
In fact, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25,26).
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who is a recovering middle-of-the-night worrier. She’s thankful she enrolled her daughter in a one-day defensive driving course.