Settings—Control Center—Do Not Disturb While Driving

Is it irony that I added the Do Not Disturb While Driving function to the “control” center of my phone since the whole reason I need to use the function is due to a personal lack of it [self-control]? I first learned of this smartphone function last year but at the time I did not really see my need to utilize it. I justified my temptation to distraction by using the “talk to text” feature. I would try to only get on my phone while stopped at red lights or when there were no cars in sight on a familiar road. Obviously my smartphone (and the makers of this little device named by Time magazine as “the single most influential gadget of all time”) knows me better than I know myself since this Do Not Disturb While Driving function was preprogrammed into it! The temptation to look, then check and then respond is great, despite laws that prohibit us from texting and driving. All the more reason to avoid this distraction, you would think, is knowing the heart shattering loss of innocent lives because of personal negligence in this area. What a fool I can be! It shames me to admit that I’m still tempted to reach for that little rectangular device knowing the tragedies that have occurred in my own community and across our country. Did you know nine Americans are killed daily due to distracted driving? Researchers say that the probability that an accident involved a cell phone was one out of every four incidents. And to be so careless with the precious lives entrusted to me who could in the blink of an eye (or swipe of a finger) be gone. My heart aches when I actually slow down and stop multi-tasking long enough to think about how quickly that could happen. Should God be so merciful to physically protect them from my ignorance I am still teaching them that it’s okay to disregard laws of the land if we are “careful” not to hurt anyone. I’m still hurting them spiritually and setting them up to do the same to others.

God’s law doesn’t say, “do not text and drive” but it very much has something to say to our hearts on the matter. It was during my recent study of Exodus (Exodus For You by Tim Chester) that I was made more aware of ways that the Old Testament laws give us timeless principles that can help guide us today.

“If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and it’s meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death.” Exodus 21:28-29

I don’t own a bull. Most likely, neither do you. So how do the above verses apply to us today? Tim Chester had some insight for me here…

“Accidents happen, and people shouldn’t be held responsible for something that was an accident. But you can be culpable for an accident if you didn’t take steps to prevent what could have been anticipated. So I learned two things from this passage:

  • I shouldn’t blame someone if they accidentally harm me.
  • If I can anticipate an accident, then I should take steps to prevent it.

Jesus said there are really only two commands: love God and love your neighbor. Paul wrote, ‘the entire law is summed up in keeping this one command: love your neighbor as yourself.'”

So I read this during my study one morning and it made sense to me. I got it. But before I could spend any time meditating on those truths and seeing how those principles might work themselves out in my modern day life the children were up and my daily responsibilities were crouching at the door of my head. Though I learned a few days later that God was not done with me yet as far as those verses were concerned. I am reading a book by Tony Reinke called 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You. The title sums up the main message of the book. There has been so many interesting insights and convicting messages so far but that day I was reading specifically about texting and driving and the disregard for life of others. He asks, “How do I love my neighbor?” in the context of our cell phone usage and our neighbors that we share the road with. He says, “as we drive, our phones ping, our brains get a shot of dopamine, and very often our decisions express our own neighbor negligence. We assume we can ignore the people we see in order to care for the people we don’t see, but that idea is all twisted backward.” Reinke says, “We sin with our phones when we ignore our street neighbors, strangers who share with us the same track of pavement”
Immediately the Holy Spirit brought back to my remembrance that darn bull. And it was as if He gored my heart with the reality of my sin. I was not loving others in this context!
Those three resources (the Bible, the Exodus study and the book) converged in my heart and a conviction grew that was greater than the temptation to be distracted by my phone while driving. I thank God for doing that work!  The Holy Spirit took it even further, rather quickly, as I looked at my little neighbors, the ones closest to me. The ones given to me to care for from God himself! Salem and Titus playing in the sand box and Knox bouncing in the Baby Bjorn I was wearing. Am I loving them well in my negligence?

“If I can anticipate an accident, I should take steps to prevent it” out of love for my neighbor!

I felt posting this would help me commit my conviction to written memory so that my mommy brain is less likely to move too quickly passed it. It helps me to write  when I work through things in my heart. There is also a new level of accountability that comes when we bring something like this out into the open. Embarrassed as I may be to admit it. Please pray I would love my fellow travelers ever increasingly and give thanks to God for his mercy to us.

Posting for our neighbors who have lost their lives already. Posting for our neighbors that call us mom or dad, honey and friend. Posting for our neighbors that we share the road with.

Have an iPhone? Check this out.

Android user? Click here.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 

“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. 

Mark 12:28-34

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.

Galatians 5:14