Distracted Driving

“Better left unread than dead…”

While we’re traveling around the U.S. speaking, I have the opportunity to engage in a lot of activities I normally avoid like the plague. Watching the news is one. As I’m sitting at my computer, sipping some joe and considering all of the tasks I need to accomplish throughout the day, I overhear a news anchor talk about the hazards of texting and driving.

Can I ask you a question? Is it bad that I chuckle a little inside whenever I hear someone speak seriously about these sorts of things?

Now, before you get a little upset at me, consider why I shake my head with a resigned, strangled smirk. It’s the gut-wrenching irony of it all; the hypocrisy which seems to know no bounds in this depraved world we currently call home.

The news anchor –who previously held all smiles and a cheery demeanor– is now solemn as she speaks about the flaws of “distracted driving”. Meanwhile, the camera switches to a giant flashing, electronic screen over an interstate flooded with cars zooming at speeds in the seventies and eighties. It reads, “Distracted driving kills! Cousin such and such says, ‘Don’t do it…’”.

“What could be so important that you have to read it while you are driving?”

So, distracted driving is such a widespread epidemic we combat distracted driving by distracting drivers? Now, of course I would be foolish to disregard some obvious logical conclusions. First, the screen and text are both extensively larger, thus making it easier to read incrementally from a distance. Additionally, we are not juggling holding a device and feel no need to emotionally respond to the sender of the message, etc…

But consider the method, model, and message we’re sending to the generations we’re attempting to influence. Believe it or not, they see through the façade.

What façade? How about fast food? Let’s go back to the twentieth century with cassette tapes and compact discs, or modernize it in the twenty-first century with Bluetooth capabilities in cars and spiffy mounts for our phones so we can Face-time friends and families? What about audio books designed to whisk us away into Middle-Earth while we dart in and out of traffic?

Still not seeing the irony or the hypocrisy posed as gigantic signs emblazoned with everything from food to car accident lawyers while we commute?

Modeling the Meaning of the Message

“Mike, I’m surprised you’ve written a post without anything scriptural in it…”

Did you miss the message? Maybe we were all too distracted to see it?

Life as a Christian is about modeling Christ to others (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1). The world teaches us things are bad when they prove no financial benefit to someone else. Billboards generate sales. Drive-thru fast food turns a quick profit. Hurry, hurry, hurry… Go! Multi-task as much as you can! Eat, listen to your favorite music or your motivational app while you drive, and…

As we can see, the world continues to see the signs, knows the dangers, and chooses comfort and risk in the face of both. So, let’s strive to model Christ without hypocrisy, friends (Rom. 12:9-13). Consider the message we live (2 Cor. 5:11-21). Be someone’s distraction today by simply sharing with them the hope you have in Jesus Christ (1 Pet.3:15).

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