This morning I was watching television as I got ready for work. A poignant commercial from AT&T came on. A young man was holding up a sign that said, “Where r.” He then went on to explain that those words were the words he was texting when he wrecked his car. The result of that wreck is that each day is a battle for him. His brain injury has caused physical as well as severe mental limitations.
My heart hurt for this young man. We all know that texting and driving is not the safest of activities. We know that there is the potential of danger in the activity, but I wonder how many of us have texted anyway?
My mind began to ponder how this concept could be applied to other areas of our lives. I thought about the different decisions in my life that I made knowing that the outcome had the potential for being dangerous. I’m not sure if I decided to do those things because I felt omnipotent, if I didn’t care if I got hurt, or if I simply thought the reward of the action would be worth the danger. All I know is that some of those poor decisions of mine resulted in me getting severely hurt emotionally, mentally, physically, and even spiritually.
My dad always warned me that every decision/action that we do has a consequence. Sometimes the consequence is predictable, which allows us to weigh the pros and cons of our decisions easily. However, there are those consequences where the odds seem to play in our favor – yet the outcome is still foggy. These are the tricky decisions/actions that we often don’t take enough time to decide if they are wise to make or not.
One such decision/action that was a struggle for me was when it came to indulging in cocaine. I knew it was an illegal drug. That should have been enough to stop me from partaking, but I rationalized that there was a very low possibility of me ever getting caught by the cops with the drug on me. I knew that there was the potential that I might buy contaminated cocaine that had been cut with poisonous substances (e.g. Drano), but once again I figured the odds of that were low since my dealer was a friend. I knew that there was a good chance that I might overdose on the cocaine since I always wanted more – much more than was safe to consume. Yet, at the time I truly believed that that would never happen to me. I think a part of me believed I was omnipotent and the other part of really only cared about getting high.
Fast forward 13 years, to the day that I found myself sitting in a Neurologist’s office being told that I had suffered a stroke at the age of 32. The Dr. said that they didn’t have a definitive reason for the cause of the stroke, but my cocaine usage, my obesity, and my poor eating habits could have all played pivotal roles as contributing factors.
Those three factors were choices of mine that I knew had the potential to have a dangerous outcome at the time I made the decisions. Yet, I still chose to indulge in the behaviors. I ignored the potential of the dangerous outcome instead deciding to have a “live only in the moment” mentality. I got so caught up in my instant gratification lifestyle that I was blinded to the fact that I was a walking time bomb physically.
My hope is that I’ve learned from these dangerous mistakes of mine. That each day, I will become less of an instant gratification junkie and more of pause to pray person. If you are struggling with decisions/actions that have the potential of danger please come visit us at the Glennon House. We would be privileged to take the time to pause and pray with you before you make your decision or take action.