We never believe there is enough time in the day. Haven’t you caught yourself looking at the clock thinking, “Is that really what time it is?” So now, doing more than one thing at a time is normal. How else will we properly fill the time?
Turns out, not very well. There’s tons of research now that says multitasking is more about making you feel useful than it is a productive strategy. But when you’re driving, it’s hard not to think about other things.
And that’s what frame of mind I was in driving home from a holiday party. It’s a busy street, with restaurants and hotels dotting the landscape. I slowed down to avoid a few potholes. As I accelerated again, I was struck by how much I had struggled to stay in the moment as people around me twirled and danced and drank. Right then, I decided to stay present while I was driving.
And then, a gray figure appeared on the dark road. It was a person– wait, two! people standing in the middle of the road. As I got closer, they kept standing there. I leaned on the horn.
The shocked woman turned around and jumped away from the road. The man stared at me angrily and pointed his fingers. “Hey! No, you!”
It occurred to me that I was exactly the right person for this to happen to.
Several years ago, when I was working at a job I couldn’t stand, an older woman stepped out from between two cars as I was exiting the parking lot. The officer at the scene said to me that it was a good thing I was just leaving. If I had been travelling at a faster speed, he said, she might have been killed. He said, “She was going to get hit by someone today. Thank God it was you.”
When the cashier is a bit too snippy, they mess up your drink, or stain your best shirt at the dry cleaner, you can wallow in the bad or you can contribute to things being better. Stay alert and be slow to anger.
If any other car had been speeding down that road this evening, those two people would have been hit. Guaranteed. But it was me, and I was present in the moment. Two drunk people made it across the road.
When bad things happen to you, are you conscious of how they could be worse? Are you open to being an agent of grace? Keep an open mind to make a difference.