Receive the blessings of quiet time; cell phone distraction while driving can be deadly

Published 2:55 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022

To the Editor:
Noise and distractions are everywhere. Americans began the new year with noisy fireworks and most aren’t happy when there is any pause in the noise. Americans hear more noise than ever before because their computers and televisions never completely shut down. Most would sleep better and be healthier if they slept with no computers or smartphones in their room. Americans will have more noise than any time in history this month because AT&T and Verizon rollout of 5G this month. No one knows the effects on health. With 5G we will have instantaneous connection and people will know instantaneously where we are. The average American spends four hours a day on screen time. Americans check their cell phones on average 58 times a day. We are deeply connected to our devices. We fill screen time with screen time by checking our cell phones during every commercial on television and some even check their phone when stopped at every traffic light. Each glance at the cell phone can leading to endless messages and posts. These minor distractions add up during the day.
According to a University of California Irvine study, “it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back to the deep focus you had once you have been distracted.” Evaluation of our wasted screen time and distractions caused by screen time should lead us to seek more quiet time for the purpose of reading our Bible and seeking to know and have a relationship with God. The Bible says distractions can harm us spiritually and can become idols. Jesus said in John 17:3 “this is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” Nothing is more important than removing distractions and focusing on knowing and loving Jesus!
Distractions can also harm us physically. You are three times more likely to get into an accident when distracted by a cell phone while driving. My late mother even had a car accident because of trying to answer the phone. An article at www.nowtheendbegins.com said distracted driving and texting causes hundreds of times more deaths and thousands times more injuries for teenagers than school shootings each year, however, the media uses more time speaking out against school shootings than distracted drivers. Distracted driving accounts for about 25 percent of all vehicle deaths. At the time of fatal crashes teens have been the largest age group that reported being distracted while driving. Driver distraction is responsible for more than 58 percent of teen crashes. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, nine people in the U.S. are killed each day as a result of crashes involving a distracted driver. Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the U.S. It takes only three seconds of distraction from the road for a crash to occur. Distracted driving has been called an American epidemic and is completely preventable! It’s better to call them back later. If you have to talk on the phone while in your car pull over.
There are spiritual and physical reasons and benefits for removing distractions and seeking a regular quiet time with God. We know purposefully turning off distractions can lower blood pressure, calm emotions and lower stress. Our body relaxes and our brain gains clarity. Our bodies cry out for it, yet we rarely nourish them with quiet. Spiritually, quiet time can build a relationship with God. Allowing God time to speak to us. Jesus often sought and spent time alone with God the Father. God the Father desires for us to connect with Him and know Him. The Bible says seek God first and put God first and these other things will be added to you. This year wake up in the morning and don’t touch your cell phone or computer until you have spent time with God in prayer and Bible reading. The Bible says in Revelation 1:3 you will be blessed if you read it out loud. Read through the Bible out loud and you will be blessed and remember it better. Sing songs of worship. Praise, worship and breathe in God. In the new year receive the blessings of quiet time with God!

D.D. Nave
Elizabethton