Do you have an accountability group? This tight-knit unit can be a crucial part of your inner circle as you deal with life’s daily temptations and struggles. For decades I have been meeting with my accountability group every Friday morning. We talk about important topics and help each other make commitments to do the little things, and the big things, that improve our lives and the lives of our families. I recently brought a challenge to my accountability group and we made a new commitment together: No texting and driving.
I have to admit to something of which I’m not proud. In May of 2017 I got a speeding ticket. I went to traffic court to contest the ticket and elected to take a three and a half hour class to get the ticket expunged from my record so that it wouldn’t count against my insurance. When the class concluded, there was one moment that really stayed with me. The ending video featured a woman who talked about her 16 year old son who was killed by a drunk driver. This resonated with me because of the tragic scenario that I encountered in 2001.
I was driving to work one morning when a pedestrian walked out in front of me. There was nothing I could do to avoid hitting him. I wasn’t doing anything that could put me at fault, he just didn’t see me and walked out in front of me. I ran him over and killed him.
That incident wasn’t my fault, but when I saw the video about the drunk driver and I started to think through all of it, my cell phone came to mind. I didn’t have my cell phone out that day, but there have been other times that I’ve been guilty of using the phone inappropriately. I’ve texted when I shouldn’t have texted and replied when I should have waited until an appropriate time to reply. If you have a cell phone, you know what I’m talking about. Whether it’s texting, another messaging app, Facebook, fill in the blank.
Well, the day I saw that video I made a decision. I went to my accountability group and we made a commitment to each other: When we are driving, we put our phones in the center console. No texting. No distractions.
Will you join us in this pledge? Here’s the reason I want to extend the challenge to you: I never want you to have to look at a parent one day and say “I’m sorry I killed your son.”
If you’re familiar with my blogs and videos, you’ll notice that this one is a little bit different. I normally give you positive messages on how you can advance in life and business. This time, I’m speaking sincerely about something that is a concern to me. The unfortunate truth is that some of us are using our cell phones inappropriately. If I had been doing something that I shouldn’t have been doing when I killed that pedestrian, I would never have been able to live with the grief. The thing is, when something like that happens, you never really get over it completely. Even though it wasn’t my fault, I still think about that accident that happened more than 15 years ago. God has given me the grace to be able to deal with it, but if I had taken someone’s life as a result of being distracted, I know I would never have gotten past it.
Will you make the commitment that I made with my accountability group? Leave a comment below if you pledge to leave your cell phone in the center console and stop driving distracted. It’s not easy. The temptation to send a text or to check your messages is always there, but it’s not worth it. Let’s make intelligent decisions now so that we don’t have to look back later with regret. Let’s hold each other accountable not to drive distracted.