I couldn't understand it. I simply could not understand it. Of course I knew that younger drivers were neither as experienced or as good of drivers as myself (each generation seems to think that about the younger generation the older they get), but I just could not understand why anyone would back out of a parking spot staring straight ahead. What was wrong with these people? Were they that distracted or careless? Why didn't they pay attention to where they were going? If I hadn't been paying attention, they might have hit me! Hmm... they were probably sending a text and trying to back up at the same time. Silly people!
This sort of thing seemed to be happening more and more, much to my chagrin. Then a few weeks ago I became one of "those" people. Yes, I must confess, after glancing around just to make sure the coast is clear, I too have started to back up my car while staring straight ahead. Well, at least I might appear to be staring straight to the average onlooker. That's because from their perspective they probably cannot see what I am really looking at.
I traded in my 17 year old Saturn a couple of weeks ago for a 2010 Prius IV. A seven year old car with less than 70,000 miles and in mint-condition is like getting a brand-new car in my world. It has been ten years since we bought a "newer model" car and I quickly discovered that things have changed a great deal. What is all this stuff anyway? You mean I can do what? Hmm...
In addition to discovering the car and my iPhone could talk to one another and make beautiful music together as well as shout out directions at me, (which I often ignore because I know a much better short-cut) I learned that I had to learn some new tricks. For example, instead of using a mechanical key, I have a fob which contains a mechanical key for those "just-in-case" situations that I hope I will never have. I also learned that a hybrid car drives just a bit differently as well but after getting some good instruction from a friend of ours who happens to work at a Toyota dealership and doing a couple of test drives, I adjusted much more quickly than I had anticipated.
My car has something else, something which I had never thought about when I was getting a bit frustrated at drivers who seemingly backed out of parking spaces without looking. My car is equiped with a backup camera. That has taken some getting used to. I mean, for over 40 years, I have gone throught the motion turning my head, forcing and holding it in a position God never intended it to be in and attempting to back out while trying to make sure I did not accidentally turn the front end into the car parked next to me.
While I still do initially take a quick glance to my right and left just to be sure someone outside the view is not flooring it down the lane, I must admit that nowadays, I too back out staring at the screen on my dash. I also have to admit that in doing so, I am actually able to see better for the camera sees things I could have never possibly seen like if a small child was standing right next to my rear bumper. Nearly 30 years ago, my cousin's 20 month old son was killed when he slipped behind a vehicle in a church parking lot. The driver, a woman, never saw him when she backed out her vehicle...
Yeah, I think backup cameras are a much-needed safety feature.
After getting my "new" car, it didn't take me long to realize that maybe, just maybe those people who were backing up while staring straight ahead were actually paying attention. Well, most of them were anyway. I thought they weren't paying attention but actually their range of vision was much better than if they had been looking over their shoulder and doing things the way they had always been done.
We are so quick to jump to conclusions. We see or hear something about someone that from where we are sitting doesn't seem quite right. We need to be very careful about jumping to the wrong conclusions and making judgement calls. This is not to say that there never needs to be instruction or correction when necessary but we must be careful to make sure we are actually following the direction of the Holy Spirit, rather than our own.
We must remember that it is far too easy to allow "self" to take control and believe we are hearing from the Holy Spirit when we are not. Be careful. Be very careful and make sure you are seeing things from God's point of view. Ask Him to help you do that... and He will.