Thursday, April 1, 2010

Can you just pay attention?

Something that is really on my heart is driving while texting and talking on the phone, eating, putting on make up, having your computer on the seat next to you, and checking in that mirror to make sure you look good.
While my son and I were out today we witnessed all of these and sadly enough we watched people swerve, almost hit another head on, and it made this mother mad. It was as though I was watching drunk drivers out on the road. Which is really about the same. Some do not think so. Some think they can use their ear pieces and still pay attention. Some think they can multitask and nothing will ever happen. Please hear me. It can happen. It happens every day all around us. We see on the news of people crashing trains, school buses, and yes, even moms driving their children home from school are crashing before they know it. It happens in a second. Just when you take your eye off the road it can happen.

I was one of these people I am now complaining about. I have texted, I have called friends, answered calls from my husband, ate while driving home from a busy day, checked my hair, and put on my make up. I am guilty of all these things. I am also learning to just let all these things go. Nothing is that important that it cannot wait. That one call is not more important than a life. That one text can wait to get noticed until you reach your drive way. And please, have you seen the people walking the aisles of Walmart? No one is really watching to see if you look your best!

You know when your friend texts you while driving you get involved in that conversation. Whether we think it or not our brains were not designed to do both. I watched a man drop his phone today and bend over drastically trying to find it. Is it really worth it? Just that minute on the phone could change your life or another forever. The longer we spend on the phone or doing other tasks while driving the less we are focused on paying attention.

We have taken driving for granite. We teach our children safety, all the while we are not being the examples we should. When my son gets in the car he is to put his phone in the glove box. I now keep my phone in my purse, and if we are really hungry while we are out, we stop and go in. Just that few minutes sharing a meal, whether fast food or not, is taking time to say I love you.

Just as we think we would never have an accident, what if it was our child killed by a driver while texting? Would that change your mind? What if it were your husband coming home after a long days work? What will it take for us to wake up and see that while we are behind the wheel we need to focus and pay attention to what is in front, behind, and at the sides of us?

We can hear all these stories on television and the news about so many, in the thousands dying from texting, from talking on the phone and yes, even those ear pieces are unsafe, but what do we do? We keep on making poor choices, watching the news and saying, "How terrible that family died today in that accident." Just what if it were your family, would it change your mind then?

We are to be good stewards of all God gives us. Well, that not only includes money, and all the things we have, but more importantly our lives and the lives of others. Our cars, our phones, they too are gifts and we need to be more aware and be the examples to our children and set a higher standard.

I can multitask just as well as another, but when we are driving it takes it to a higher risk. We are not at home in our living rooms, floating to the bathroom and on the the bedrooms. We are not just taking care of our children, and having business meetings. We are behind the wheel of a potential danger if we are not careful. We always complain about teen age drivers going too fast or not paying attention. We can complain about older folks driving when they can't see over the steering wheel, so why is it okay to text, or make that call? It could be your last call. That one text of your friend saying hi, could be at the cost of an other's life.

Life is too sweet and so precious for us to be so reckless in our actions. All we have to do is make a conscious effort to focus and take seriously what is before us. Today when you wake up and your getting ready for your day, place your phone in your purse. While you are getting ready for your day at work there are moms who are getting ready to take their children to the park, dads leaving for work, and friends going about their daily tasks. May we not just say I love you, but may we put those words in motion with our actions. May today be the day we love our neighbor in a whole new light.


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