Monday, March 05, 2012

Lenten Reflection


Last week I was stopped by a police officer and was ticketed for driving and talking on my phone at the same time.  My actions were foolish on several levels.

1.  I had an earpiece and I didn't use it;

2.  I had impulsively picked up the phone to call a friend, then stopped and put it down.  In that split second, I was seen;

3.  I wasn't actually "on a call" so I thought I could talk my way out of a ticket.  Silly me.

4.  Officer D . . . must have thought I was really ridiculous.  If he was thinking that, he would have been right.

Over the next few days, I reran the events over and over again, in my mind, of what I could have said that might have made a difference.  In reality, probably nothing, but I was plagued by what had happened and it took me four, yes FOUR, days to get to the truth of the matter - I wasn't being honest. Not with myself. Not with the officer. NOT.  Once I faced this, things got a little better.  Depressing as the cost will be, it is a small cost for an understanding of an important reality - my attachment to my cell phone and all of its toys.

And more than attachment - it was where the attachment had led me - to denial of the wrong I had done.  Though I know and accept the good reason behind the driving laws and phone use, I went ahead and did it anyway.  That I had an earphone and didn't use it just goes to show how addicted - yes, addicted - I was to my phone.

So, what does this say about me?  Well, plenty.  Like most people, I'm not a bad person but that idea that we hold of our self deludes us from the reality of the wrong we do.  Whether our sin is common or wicked, we are all weak.  The idea is to pinpoint our weaknesses, dig them out and in the light of day, face them down and learn from them.  So - for me - time for confession, time for a good talk with my priest about self-honesty, self-delusion, and more than time (since I'm just now doing it) to thank God for the ticket and the reminder of how careless cell phoning while driving is.  The outcome could have been very different and a lot worse.


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great post, Annie... That is one we all need to read and listen to... There are times when ALL of us (it's not just you) do stupid things.. I used to get so upset that "I" had to wear a seatbelt.. I didn't realize that it was for my own safety... We all need to be reminded of what could have been!!!!

Since I've been away from blogging for a week, I have alot of catching up to do. We had a wonderful trip to Arkansas --but it's great to visit with my blog friends. Hope things are going well with you today.


Ginny said...

Well, first, how many states now have laws about cells and driving? I'm glad this happened, because it could have saved you a future accident!!

trailbee said...

I got a speeding ticket in the spring of '98 on Hwy 4. I had just made my turn from Parrots Ferry Rd. onto 4 and was happily roaring down the hwy when my nemesis came toward me, over the hill. It was my very first ticket, ever. I earned this ticket, because of all the times I roared down I-5 and never got caught.
I took traffic school. I am now a well-behaved, discreet driver. Oh, but once in a while I wish I were young again. :)
Sorry about the cost. I'll buy you coffee next week. :)

Jeanie said...

Annie, this is such an incredibly moving, honest post and oh -- I'm so glad you did it. There are so many things we all do and sometimes we avoid what they are or mean or why we did them or that we did them. To really answer to yourself -- that's brave, it's hard, and it's wonderful. I admire you tremendously.

Annie said...

Thank you Jeanie. Your words mean a lot to me. If my admission alerts even one person to their own dangerous actions, and alters their behavior, I'll count this post a success.

Annie said...

I'll take you up on that. See you next week.

Ash said...

I love your perspective, Annie!

Marilyn said...

We have this law in Oregon too and yet I still see so many talking on the phone. Good to hear lesson learned.

Beth said...

We have the same law here but I have yet to see any one get a ticket for it. I do not talk or text on my cell when I am driving. And I get really mad when I see someone on one and not paying attention to their driving. But the fact that you owned up to it, well that was very impressive. Don't be too hard yourself,,we are human and make mistakes.

Lea said...

My mother has saying... "when you hear it from the four winds." So, I can not thank you enough. I don't however think you were ridiculous. I think you are human and your choice to learn from and share this experience is a holy act.

Jone said...

Thank you foot reminding me! I have a bad habit about this especially in slow traffic. It'ms hard at it,Ed to face our own truth.brava for doing so.

Beautiful Whispers of Catholicism said...

Your post is very true. I'm guilty as charged and you're right to say that until we admit to our faults... we can't face the truth and forgive ourselves.Thank you.

Lea said...

Update... because you were one of those four winds telling me to pay attention to NOT holding the phone in the car, I went and finally had the bluetooth in my prius connected to my cell phone. If someone calls, I won't even have the temptation to look down, it goes through the radio. When the techie was setting me up, a screen popped up that had my cell phone number on it. It was the last number called when this car was Milt's, from Milt to me... it felt like a love note from him, and you helped me to find it. XO