WARNING: Focus Your Attention

My SUV’s info screen periodically flashes this WARNING: “Taking your eyes off the road too long or too often while using this system could cause a crash, resulting in injury or death to you or others. Focus your attention on driving.” The message remains until the driver pushes a button on the touch screen.

SUV Information Screen

The notice ironically appears while I’m driving. I’m required to take my eyes off the road to read a warning about taking my eyes off the road. Then I have to fumble with the touchscreen until I hit the right spot. None of this promotes a focus on driving.

File this under the category, “Best of Intentions, Worst of Outcomes.” A message about distractions becomes a distraction, creating the very reality that it seeks to prevent.

Humanity has evolved into a distracted people. People focus on their phones, ignoring everything and everyone around them. Multitasking helps us accomplish a number of simultaneous tasks poorly. Virtual and augmented reality replace reality itself.

Jesus called his followers to have eyes to see and ears to hear. Otherwise, the Lord God Almighty might appear and speak without notice.

Unplug. Unwind. Focus. Attend. Be present. Cultivate mindfulness. Be where your feet are.

In her poem entitled “Aurora Leigh,” Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote:

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

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