I crashed my car a few hours ago.

I’m sitting here typing, in the middle of the night, still a bit shaken up by the accident.

It was my fault.

I was coasting down what I thought was an empty road, unaware It was my faultof what was waiting for me on the other side of an overpass. By the time I’d seen the backed-up traffic ahead of me and hit the brakes, it was too late to come to a complete stop, and I rear-ended the car in front of me.

I feel like a complete idiot, and I’m seriously not looking forward to the conversation that I’ll be having with my insurers. If there is any consolation, it’s that no one was hurt, thank G‑d, and that my son, who was in the car with me at the time, can assure my wife that I was not on the phone when we crashed.

Even though I realize how lucky I am that we all came out unscathed, and that a car can be repaired or replaced, I can’t help but feel a bit frustrated at the cost and inconvenience that I am now facing. I arranged for my mother to give my son a lift home, while I waited for the tow truck to arrive and gloomily started to calculate the price of my stupidity.

How much for the deductible, a rental car, the tow truck and the increased cost of my future insurance premiums? If, as it seems, the car is a writeoff, how much will the cost of a replacement vehicle exceed the payout? Where will I find the time to research makes and models, organize test drives and arrange financing? Things aren’t exactly flush right now. What type of impact will this have on our budget? What a confounded nuisance!

All the negativity was getting me down, so I decided to do something somewhat useful with my time while waiting. I started feeling around under the seats to make sure that I wouldn’t be leaving any possessions behind. From under the driver’s seat I pulled out an old edition of Dvar Malchus, a pamphlet that contains Torah thoughts on the weekly portion as well as other daily Torah study sections.

I had nothing else to do, so, even though this edition was months out of date, I started flicking through the pages to find something to learn. And that’s when G‑d started talking to me.

I had opened up to an excerpt from Hayom Yom, the first book written by the Rebbe, which contains a short aphorism or philosophical insight for every day of the year. I started reading the entry for 9 Nissan. Under the dim light of the closest street lamp, I could barely make out the following words.

Jewish wealth is not houses and gold. The everlasting Jewish wealth is keeping Torah and mitzvahs, and bringing into the world children and grandchildren who keep Torah and mitzvahs.

Talk about a wakeup call. Here I was allowing myself to get dragged down over the potential loss of meaningless chattel, with hardly a thought of thanks for the incredible wealth that I do possess.

I am truly blessed. I live an incredible life, in a wonderful country, with the freedom and active encouragement of my society and community to keep Torah and mitzvahs. I have great kids and, although I’m too young for grandkids, I have every prayer, hope and aspiration to be so blessed in the future.

I have so much real wealth, and I’m stupid enough to get all worked up over a car?

Our I have so much real wealthchildren are our wealth. My current financial position is meaningless in the long, medium and short term. G‑d will and does provide. The only guarantee of future security is the life we live today and the blessings that we leave behind.

If I can integrate that consciousness into my daily life, recognizing and differentiating between that which is truly valuable and that which is insignificant, it will be clear that the incident with my car was no accident of fate, but an opportunity waiting to collide with me over the hill of fate and teach me an enduring lesson for life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to gather my thoughts for my conversation with the insurance company tomorrow.