I just read a couple of articles concerning Friday's (9/12) head-on collision between a freight train and a commuter train north of Los Angeles resulting in (as of Sunday, 9/14) 25 deaths, and 135 injuries (45 of which were critical). What is shocking and adds to the sadness is a preliminary finding by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board that this horrible accident (the worst in 15 years), may have been caused by the commuter train's engineer missing a stop signal because he was texting a friend on his cell phone just one minute before the crash. (For more info go here: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/09/13/2008-09-13_california_train_wreck_caused_when_engin.html)
If this turns out to be true, how sad that this incident could have and should have been avoided.
Once again, life teaches tough lessons. Just a moment's inattention can cause unbelieveable pain and heartache and even death. Studies are showing that cell phone use in the car can so slow a driver's response time that it is like driving legally intoxicated. I hope NO ONE reading this EVER texts while driving...EVER. By the way, did you know that when you are driving 60 MPH you travel 88 feet A SECOND??? So if you are looking at your phone for a second, it's like driving 88 feet blindfolded! So take this as your public service announcement of the day.
The same can be said of life in general. I'm amazed at how often we don't pay attention to the really, REALLY important things like our relationships with God, our families, and each other... while being obsessed and hyper-focused on things that don't ultimately matter. What do you find yourself focused on during the day? Are you paying attention to the important things?
Peter had trouble "paying attention" to the Lord before Christ's crucifixion, often acting on impulse, but Peter finally learned to listen before he spoke or acted, and in his second epistle would write: And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 2:19) So let us pray for those involved in this horrible train accident, including the families of the dead, the injuried, and those who were involved in rescue efforts, and let us pay attention to our driving, and to everything that really, REALLY matters!