“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility 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
The other day I was out running some errands, and I was listening the radio while simultaneously lost in thought. Needing to change lanes, I barely glanced in my mirror before pulling to the right. This careless act nearly caused a wreck, because I hadn’t seen the tiny car in my blindspot. Fortunately the other driver was paying a lot more attention, even if that meant he was irritated with me for making him swerve, but I was thankful not to have hit him.
We hear a lot these days about distracted driving. I wasn’t on my cell phone or anything, but I was worried about all the things I needed to take care of when I got home (which is, thankfully, where my little boy safely was). I was so caught up in my own thoughts that I wasn’t taking the proper precautions of safe driving. As strange as it seems, we live in a world where laws have to be written to prevent people from talking on the phone or texting while they drive. You’d think that operating a two-ton vehicle would be enough to make people pay attention, but most people believe they are ensconced in safety when they drive, and therefore take risks when they shouldn’t.
The real problem isn’t the cars or the cell phones or the laws – it’s the people. There wouldn’t be a law that would have prevented what I was doing when I switched lanes – in that moment I was just too focused on myself. And that is what ultimately leads to people doing things like texting when they drive; they think what they are doing in the moment is more important than anything else going on. What we don’t think about when we focus entirely on ourselves is how much we can be putting people in danger with our actions and attitudes.
Throughout all of life, from driving on up, we need to take the time to consider others before ourselves. Our society preaches too often to put the focus on self, which is what leads to people too self-absorbed to see when they are putting others in harm’s way. God’s way is to put others first, and in doing that, we will always have their safety and best interest at heart.