When you set out on a trip, you are supposed to focus on driving that vehicle as long as you are moving. There are Rest Areas, restaurants, & gas stations where you can stop & rest. But all of us, at one time or another, have probably been guilty of being so focused on that “ENCOUNTER” that we think we must have – the text or phone call that simply cannot wait, that we do not pull over & stop & rest to make that call or text, but we get distracted with our primary task, which is to safely & successfully drive that car, ourselves & our passengers to the intended destination. We also do that in life! We get so distracted with relationships, jobs, success, awards, etc. that we focus more on them than the task at hand, which is to safely & successfully get through our life’s journey. When you stop focusing on the open highway, you may end up crashing & burning, & you may inadvertently take other people out with you when you go. When we stop focusing on your life, & start focusing on distractions such as too much alcohol, drugs, sex addictions, etc., then we are at a great risk of crashing & burning, & when we do, we will inevitably take others with us. People get so focused on their next “encounter” with alcohol that they lose their chances at promotions; or so focused on their next “encounter” with drugs that they lose their jobs; or so focused on their next “hook-up” for sex that they lose their relationships; or perhaps one of these things causes them to lose their very lives. Are you riding in the car with someone who is too distracted to properly focus on the road ahead? Make then pull over, & if they will not listen to your pleas to stop their distracted driving, get out of the car! If you are riding along with someone who is allowing distractions such as addictions to control them, the same principle applies: try to get them to seek help, but do not allow them to drag you down as they continue to put themselves at risk for abusive behaviors, diseases, or whatever. PLEASE: Focus on the task at hand. As I always told my kids as I was teaching them to drive, “The primary goal is to ARRIVE ALIVE!!! EVERYTHING else is secondary!!!”
Yes, I am GUILTY AS CHARGED take & make calls while driving; I eat snacks; & I use voice to text. I do try to be responsible about it, though, & not let the distractions take my focus off of the road. But as we were traveling to the Rock the South concert in Cullman Friday evening, there was a traffic tie-up that caused us to miss quite a bit of the concert. We heard that a man was changing his tire on I-65, & a car came along, knocking the door off of his car, & killing him. I have NO IDEA WHO was at fault. Perhaps the man parked too close to the highway, & his car door was protruding onto the highway? Perhaps a distracted driver veered off onto the shoulder? I wonder what his intended destination was, & I am saddened that he never made it there, because someone, whether it was him, or the other party, was distracted from the task at hand, & an unfortunate & tragic accident resulted.
This reminds me of how often I see people looking down at their phones while driving. Please be safe, peeps!!! On the highway, & on the road called life, pay attention, & do not let distractions cause you to chase your next encounter when you are supposed to be navigating instead, & thus cause hurt to yourself & others.
I am going to try to be more cognizant of this in my own life. May God bless the family of the man who lost his life while on the side of the highway this past weekend.


~ Lou Lehman Sams


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I am a Southern Belle, through and through. Born and raised in North Alabama, where my family settled in 1808, when the area was still the Mississippi Territory, I come from a line of Planters, Patriots, and Pioneers. They were people who were unafraid to take risks, who said what they believed, and who honored God and their Country. Like my ancestors before me, I have strong values, believing that the Golden Rule is indeed golden. I write as a way to relate and as a release. I hope that my words may inspire, challenge and provoke one to thinking about how extraordinary things can come out of ordinary places, people, and things.

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