I have a confession: I drive drunk frequently.
Okay, it’s not alcohol that I’m drunk on, but it’s emails, text messages, and sports scores.
I just saw in the local news that a mother of four kids in the Ann Arbor area died in a car accident; she was texting while driving. My first reaction was, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s so dangerous, didn’t she know better?” But that was quickly squelched by the realization that I am just as guilty of driving distracted: I often check my emails, text messages, and sports scores, usually at stoplights, but I often make phone calls while in motion.
There was actually an article in CNN this week about distracted driving and the dangers that it poses. Apparently the risk of a crash increases by 4xs when we drive while using a cell phone. There are other stats in the article that are very compelling and make me think twice about my driving habits.
As I reflected on these two articles and my own habits, I realized that it comes down to living a hurried life and an artificial sense of urgency. Reading that new email is ‘urgent’; sending that text message is ‘urgent’; checking that sports score…okay it isn’t urgent, but my curiosity gets the better of me. Whenever that little envelope icon appears on my screen, it begs and taunts me to check it, no matter what I was doing at that moment.
We live in a culture of instant gratification and impatience, both of which I doubt are very Christ-like. (If patience is a ‘fruit of the spirit’ [Galatians 5:22] then I guess that makes impatience an anti-fruit?) Don’t get me wrong: I love technology and I’m not trading in my cell phone for a landline, but I definitely need to grow in patience and delayed gratification. Perhaps driving and red lights can be moments to sit still, quiet my frantic mind and just enjoy the day.
Here are the articles mentioned above: