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.