It seems like something out of Fast and Furious.

My sister filters right to avoid going down the expressway. She knocks into the van beside her.

She quickly swerves left. Before I know it, the car is airborne. It’s like watching a slow-motion picture play. In real life.

It seems like I’m inside a washing machine. Held back by my seatbelt, my mum seated in the back with me, tumbles and hits the front seat.

The car comes to a stop.

My mum is now wedged between the two front seats, facing me. Her face is pinched together and she mutters, “Tell you, don’t drive so fast…”

I put my arm around her, and pray. We thank God that we are alive.

I open the car door, and release the seat belt. I try to get out.

I do so. Nothing feels broken.

Mum helps herself out slowly. As she gets out, she pauses, and sits on the floor of the car for a moment. Another look of anguish. I support her out.

Under the hood of the car, grey smoke tendrils extend out. Stuck on the railing, the car is surprisingly steady. Spider web cracks appear on the windscreen.

The tree beside the car has its bark torn off. The road sign bends backwards, kissing the floor. Behind us are two other cars.

It was amazing that this car could be damaged so easily. It had been ferrying us quickly around the island… and now this car seems to have come to the end of its life.

I walk beside my mum and ask, “Are you okay?”

She’s shaking. Her hands are trembling.

I put my arm around her, and pray. We thank God that we are alive.

“Amen,” she whispers.

We still cannot believe what we are seeing. How could a normal trip to visit our grandmother turn out so bad?


Writing this isn’t just about sharing God’s grace and mercy in preserving our lives.

While those are important, of greater note was God’s nudge about how I had been living my life.

Because it didn’t matter that I had just gotten out of a car accident.

What mattered was what happened after.

After three hours of police statements, exchanging contacts with the others involved, and getting the tow truck, we finally got home.

The first thing I did? Get out my laptop, and go back to assessing my investments.

You might have thought that such an incident, that brought me so close to death, would have reminded me about what’s important in life.

Instead, I found myself frustrated at mum propping herself weakly on the sofa.

Was she acting? I thought to myself. “She could walk, bend… why was she behaving like this?”

She ate two mouths of noodles I bought her. Again, that irritation arose.

Why was she wasting food?

While I had such a big jolt, on the surface, nothing had changed. I still raced endlessly.

There, I paused. This huge accident had just happened.

But there I was, irritated, frustrated, and angry at the people who matter most to me.

I could only think of how they were wasting my time and energy.

What had I come to?

I hope you don’t have to go through a car crash for God to get your attention about what He’s saying at this moment in your life.

While I had such a big jolt, on the surface, nothing had changed. I still raced endlessly.

God can provide such jolts in your life. But you are the one who may need to pause, slow down and ask:

1. What is God telling me about Him?
2. What is God telling me about me?
3. What is God telling me about me and Him?


There are different seasons in life, and seasons come and go.

The start of autumn is marked by the change in the color of the leaves. Winter whispers with the growing chill.

You can attune yourself to understanding God’s season for your life by seeing, hearing and feeling.

I used to struggle with this. I kept saying, “I can’t hear God! I can’t see what He’s doing!”

But God may not present Himself like a burning bush. It may be in a gentle word that strikes you from a close friend, or the feeling in your heart that it’s time for change.

Or the smell of bak kuh teh, which reminds you of home, and the broken relationship with your mum.

Sometimes God comes through loud crashes and booms — like in a crisis. Other times He may be found in the small moments.

That night, it wasn’t so much the crash that struck me as it was getting out of the taxi that took us home.

I was experiencing again things that I had seen for 23 years — the pavilion, the trees, the neighbours milling about at the void deck. And that strong pungent smell of the rubbish chute.

How sane, normal, everyday these things looked! A contrast to the scene we had found ourselves in three hours ago.

But I realised that these also are small everyday moments where God can present Himself.

The question is: are we tuning in?


I’m feeling horrid today. It’s been a difficult day.

I message my dad, asking if we can go for a walk at 9 pm tonight. He agrees.

Finally, it’s 9:12 pm at night. Inside my room, I’ve just finished a call with my speaking coach in London. I walk out to see if my dad is ready.

Outside, my dad is watching Netflix. He’s on an episode. “I’ll be done in 10 minutes,” he says. As he fast-forwards, I see there’s still 20 minutes left to the episode.

I’m tempted to lash out. To say that he’s always more interested in Netflix than people. But I bite my tongue.

If God has taught me anything about Him, it’s that cherishing relationships — however imperfect they are — is part of His will for us.

Through God’s imperfect people, He reminds us of my own imperfections. Through God’s imperfect people, He presents a chance to step up. To love as He loved.

If God has taught me anything about me, it’s that life doesn’t always have to be lived on the fast lane. It doesn’t always have to be productive and efficient.

All that truly mattered was one thing…. my relationship with God.

It can be slow — even meandering at times. But all I need to do is to rest in His perfect timing.

And if God has taught me anything about me and Him, it’s this.

“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’” (Luke 12:20)

Amidst COVID-19, it’s been so easy for me to be caught up in a mad chase for the things that “matter” — more money, better career, fitter abs…

But when all is stripped away, when my life was close to being snuffed out like a flame, I realise that all that truly mattered was one thing.

My relationship with God.

One might say that John Lim‘s life has not been smooth-sailing. But after numerous rocky seasons, today he is a motivational speaker, life coach and author. John blogs at and currently works full-time in the social service sector.

  1. What is God telling me about Him today?
  2. What is God telling me about me?
  3. What is God telling me about me and Him?