When I was little, my Mom spent so much time with my sister, brother and me, talking with us, teaching us, cautioning us of dangers to watch out for, etc. I know I took her counsel to heart and so many of the things she said to me when I was quite young are ingrained in my memory. I remember one day being out doing some yard work together and her saying how important it was to work hard because we would have big jobs to do in the future and what we were doing (as little kids) was preparing us for that. What foresight she had! I find I am now the same way with my 3 girls…giving little advice where I can…little words of wisdom about day-to-day life (many of which I got originally from my Mom!)
The habit of heeding Mom’s advice stuck with me into adulthood. I remember visiting my Mom one day and her saying to me, “I heard on the radio today what to do if you’re ever going to hit a deer. Don’t swerve, just hit it head on.” I filed that info away and then one rainy, dark night as I was driving home from work – going 55 mph on the highway (which was at the time down to only one lane due to construction) – a deer casually stepped out into my lane and stopped in its tracks. There was no where I could go and no time to stop. I instantly remembered what my Mom had told me…”Hit the deer head on.” And so I gently hit the brakes to slow myself as much as I could, gripped the steering wheel and hit the deer head on (praying all the while!).
My car engine died instantly, though my headlights were still working. I couldn’t see momentarily because when I hit the deer, somehow it released my hood and it flew up and blocked my windshield (and view) completely. The deer landed in the ditch and I was able to coast my car to the side of the road. My car was totaled, but I was perfectly fine and very thankful. I thanked my Mom for her advice when I spoke to her later.
This deer incident happened many years ago now and I’ve told this story a few times and have had time to reflect on it. Though there was definitely wisdom in what my Mom had told me, I have begun it realize that it isn’t necessarily what I did or what she told me to do that was helpful in this situation. It was simply the results of what is written in Prov 6: 20-22 and the blessings that come from heeding this advice:
“My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.”
In my next post, I’ll share another piece of advice from my Mom which she learned from a personal experience in her family when she was a young girl.