We are creatures of habit. Sometimes our habits cause us to do strange things.
I drive a lot. Even when my wife, Stephanie, and I travel, I do most of the driving. Like most of you, I’m used to doing the same thing when I get in and out of a vehicle. I can get in, start the vehicle and fasten my seatbelt without having to think about what I’m doing. Once I’ve arrived at my destination, I can shut off the motor, unhook my seatbelt, take the key out of the ignition switch and exit the vehicle without thinking about it.
Occasionally, I have to take my pick-up truck to a garage for repairs. I try to schedule repairs on Stephanie’s day off from work so she can help me get back and forth from the garage. Once, the parts supply store sent the wrong part to my mechanic. They couldn’t get the right one there until the next day.
These things happen in life. No big deal. Since Stephanie had to work the next day, I called a gentleman from our congregation, Gary, and asked him if he would take me to get my truck the next day. He said he would be happy to do it.
He arrived at my house the next day once my truck was fixed. I sat down in the passenger seat of his vehicle and hooked my seatbelt. We pulled out of the driveway and headed towards the shop. We had a good conversation during the ride.
Fifteen minutes later, we pulled in. Gary shut of his engine and got out. My mind was still on our conversation but that didn’t matter. I could exit the vehicle without thinking about it. I reached down to the right and tried to unfasten my seatbelt like I always do. But there was a problem. I couldn’t find the button to unlatch it. I looked down and couldn’t see the latch. By this time, Gary had gotten out of the vehicle, walked around to the passenger door and opened it.
I looked up and asked, “How do you unhook this seatbelt?” He responded, “It’s on the other side.”
I have to say I felt like a fool. My mind had been distracted. I didn’t focus on the fact I was in the passenger seat instead of the being in the driver’s seat. The seatbelt latch was on the opposite side. After I paid the bill for the truck repairs, I drove off thinking to myself, “I bet he wonders what kind of pastor they hired if he can’t even unhook his seatbelt.” (more…)