When Your life Hangs In The Balance…What Do You Think Of?


As our Jeep headed over the embankment, our eyes met! I wondered, as I felt the car start to roll, if this would be the last time our eyes would meet in this life? Was this the way life would end, for me, for my wife, for us both?” (November 21, 2010)

We had just stopped to gas up off Interstate 80 just outside of North Platte, Nebraska. The temperature was around 32 degrees with early morning fog on the ground. My wife and I headed back out on the interstate as dawn was breaking. We had driven only a short distance on the flat straight highway before we came to a bridge. The bridge was no more than 50 yards long. My wife and I were holding a pleasant conversation when all of a sudden, the Jeep I was driving went into a tailspin. Before I knew what was happening the car was sinning out of control. It happened so fast that I didn’t really have time to process the reason I had lost control of my vehicle. I just knew I had. Later, I learned we had hit black ice on the roadway. But as we crossed the bridge and started, backward down an embankment into the unknown, I could feel the Jeep start to roll, and it was at that moment that I looked over at my wife of 32 plus years at the time, and our eyes met. It was for just a spit second. But that exchanged glance will be forever emblazoned in my mind. As the car started to roll, and as our eyes met, I was thinking, “I love her. Is this the end?” Then, in an instant, we went over the embankment. I don’t know how long we were spinning. It couldn’t have been more than a few seconds. I was holding onto the steering wheel for dear life. I was stomping on the brakes to try and stop our decent into the abyss! We finally came to a stop after going about a hundred yards off the highway. We had gone down the embankment, through a fence, missed a couple of trees and ended up facing back towards whence we came. Somehow we didn’t end up rolling. I looked over at my wife; she was fine. Fortunately, we sustained no injuries!

The longer I live the more I learn how fragile this life really is! Over the years the loss of loved ones is a reminder to me of just how “temporary” our state is here on earth. There are no guarantees in this life as to the time we have on earth. I am reminded of the words of the Savior regarding the temporary nature of this life.

“…Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:20-21).

As I went over the embankment that morning, it could have been my time. In a moment, all that I had ever done on this earth could have come to a close. Would I have been happy about that? Would I have been satisfied in making an account of what I had done with my time? Would I have left things “undone”? Would I have left with things “unsaid”? Would I….? My “over the embankment” experience, has given me pause to ponder and consider how quickly my life can end and the meaning of not only life, but of my life! What did I think of in when my life hung in the balance? It was the love of my wife! Since then, the Savior’s sacrifice has taken on a deeper meaning because I never want to lose her. Not then, not now, not ever! It’s something I have pondered on everyday since!

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