Sunday, June 28, 2009

texting while driving

This is not the most scientific study that I've ever seen. BUT, I don't think many people will dispute the results. There's no doubt that texting while driving hinders one's driving ability... that usually comes with not looking at the road.
The other studies referenced in the video give a few staggering numbers, like 66% of 18-24 texting or emailing while driving.

I text while driving.
Yesterday on a drive across Baton Rouge I had a text conversation with a friend whom I was following. We didn't hit anyone--though we did take a wrong turn at one point. I've never hit anyone or anything because I was texting. I generally don't even look at the phone while texting, just when I feel like there's been a typo. Yet, I know other 'good drivers' and 'good texters' who have hit cars because of phone use. It comes with not looking at the road.

Why am I saying all of this? There's a woman interviewed in the video whose 17 year old daughter died in a wreck apparently caused by texting. "I wouldn't want to see another person have to go through such a senseless death." Senseless is right.
It seems to make sense at the time. I need to communicate. If I don't text and drive I'd have to wait and communicate later. This is (seems to me) pressing. I'll do it now.
Maybe some people recognize the risks and decide that the convenience is worth it. They're convinced that things will turn out OK.
However that is obviously not always the case.

Christians have been taught by our Lord to "love your neighbor as yourself." Again in Paul, James, John: love your neighbor. Or as Paul says it again: "count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." (Philippians 2:3-4) We do this because of the servanthood of Jesus.
If we follow this command we will not willfully endanger others for our own sake. We will not.

I exhort you, brothers and sisters, not to text and drive.

Our society treasures communication and speed. They are driving forces in American culture. Well, this is the sort of counter-culture Christians ought to model. Instead of buying our children Bible action figures in place of G.I.JOEs, we need to teach our children--and ourselves--to be followers of Jesus. That is real Christian counter-culture. And it means following His command to love--even and especially when that command forces us to re-prioritize and to place those things that we're taught to care about below the path of denying self and taking up the cross.

Texting and driving is already illegal in several states. Christians therein have absolutely no excuse for breaking those laws. But I'm calling on all of us. When the currents of society carry us toward evils, the Church must swim against the current. When we don't we are not the Church.

So I'm committing to not texting while driving.
That probably just sounds silly. 'Big commitment there, Nance...' No doubt it will seem less silly tomorrow when I'm on the road and I want to tell... someone... something. I bet it will actually be quite a temptation when the time comes. But Christ's call for us to love is more important than my convenience, or even my friend's, on the other side of the message.
We must love, against the culture, against the tug to there 'go and do likewise.'


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