Friday, June 07, 2013

Eyes-Down Danger . . . Raised Gaze --- (Peter A. Black)

He was probably 12 or 13, and swept right off the sidewalk from an intersecting street.  
I saw him in the nick of time and took evasive steering and braking action, averting a collision between my car and his body and bike. The kid carried on his sweet way with his mobile music device buds in his ears, as though nothing had happened. The sidewalks and roads were all his.

The adrenalin rush hadn’t quite settled down before a youngster on a skate board flipped it on the sidewalk and stumbled onto the road.

An automobile takes a corner ungainly and wide. The driver, steering with one hand, holds a phone at the ear.  Another driver’s eyes are down, peering at a smart phone screen, thumb flicking out a text message.
You’ve seen them—skaters ghosting along on roller blades, youths careening down the road on skateboards, longboards and bikes, staring blankly ahead, preoccupied with whatever’s coming through their mobile sound system ear buds.  And I suspect some joggers too, get lost in a world of intimate sound. 

Several weeks ago I witnessed a car come crashing down on its roof after slamming into a stationary vehicle, in broad daylight. The driver’s life was spared, but she was charged with careless driving. It’s believed that the woman had been texting or otherwise using a mobile phone, while accelerating after leaving an intersection.  That’s eyes down danger!
Little babies and toddlers with "eyes-down moms" can be put in very real danger. Have you seen this sort of scenario?: A mom’s conversing or dialing on her mobile phone—or worse, texting—while pushing a baby stroller. She arrives at the kerb, but is preoccupied with twiddling her thumbs over the touchpad, and her eyes are down. Her attention’s not on the child or the traffic conditions. She dips the buggy onto the road and saunters out.
At that moment a driver swerves to avoid hitting them. Next, a vehicle comes round a corner and barely misses the baby buggy bearing its precious cargo. The mom jabbers away, crossing towards the other side, pushing her infant’s carriage ahead of her, oblivious to the fact she’s placing the child in danger. Her baby is first on the road and in the primary position of danger.
Of course, operating a mobile phone and texting can be done safely. Unfortunately, many people use this useful tool in unwise and inappropriate ways.

We can go about our lives with our spiritual eyes down. Putting much of our focus on the trivial and minutiae of life, we can become unaware of either the blessings around us or the potentially harmful situations we may stumble into.
Let us raise our gaze from the incidental to the transcendent, as we make our way through life. This can help us avoid unnecessary danger, while enjoying life and appreciating and sharing its blessings.

Isn’t that also a necessary approach in regard to developing and maintaining healthy relationships, and nurturing our spiritual and moral life—to focus on where we’re headed and yet be aware while on the journey?
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:2 NLT).


Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children's / family book (mildly educational, inspirational in orientation, character reinforcing).
  (Finalist -- Word Alive Press ISBN 1897373-21-X )

His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Guide-Advocate. His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario.



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