“Communicating hope and trust in our time.”

- Pope Francis

Pause and Pray

Atty. Mau Obon

By Mau Obon

PEOPLE these days are always in a rush. No matter how many machines they own that are supposed to save them time, they still do things in a hurry. Decades ago, dining out meant going to a restaurant, and waiting for the food was part of the deal. Then somebody invented fast food where meals are served as soon as payment is made. But people thought it wasn’t fast enough.So here comes the drive-through, and now, nobody has to leave their cars to get their dinner.

Well, drive-through diners still don’t exist in this province. But, people on the rush do, some of them deadly. How do I know? I drive about 86 km to work, almost two hours, and I meet a lot of them on way. In fact, I have categorized them intothree.

One is the “stiff neck” type. These people make a U-turn, or speed away without signaling and checking if there is an approaching vehicle behind them. They don’t use their rearview mirrors, and side view mirrors. I even noticed some side view mirrors that reflect the driver’s face and not the vehicle at the back, GGSS to the max! The worst type doesn’t have side mirrors at all and would occupy the center of the lane. Imagine yourself driving behind a stiff neck type, and as you are overtaking him, he suddenly makes a U-turn. Guess what will happen?

Second is the “obstacle” type. These people are rushing to park so much so that their vehicle impedes another driver’s view or lane. They are the ones who will park on a curve, or at an intersection. The shameless type stops right in the middle of the lane in a sloping curve. Double and triple parkers included.

Last is the “daredevil”type. They deliberately do risky maneuvers on the road for the sake of the thrill. Yes, they drive really fast.

There is one common trait among these three types, they don’t care about others. That’s why they are dangerous. They are only concerned about their own destination without recognizing that other people are travelling as well. Same with how we “drive” our lives. We can’t be too focused on ourselves because we are journeying with others. All the rushing is worthless, when we injure others along the way.

I can’t forget one of my driving thrills. I was traversing on a runway like portion of the national highway somewhere in the municipality of San Julian. Every time I pass this part I tend to imagine that I’m driving a plane and I was about to take off. That morning I was going 80kph, the coast was clear, except for a man ahead of me, with two carabaos, walking on the side of my lane. I don’t know what got into me, but as I was nearing the carabaos, I crossed to the left lane. As soon as my car settled on the other side, one carabao turned left, his body stretching across the right lane. I renewed my belief in God and His angels right at that moment. I didn’t have to change lanes because the animals were moving forward and were far enough to my right. But thank God I did, and just at the right time, otherwise, I would have rammed right into the carabao with all my 80kph glory.

Every morning, before I start to drive, I say three Hail Marys with the miraculous medal prayer after each one. I pray for guidance and protection because sometimes the unexpected happens.It’s relatively easy to avoid hitting the three types of rushing individuals I previously enumerated. Sometimes I even fall into one of the categories. It’s the unpredictable that’s scary. But in spite of patentero like driving experience, I still manage to get by unscathed. It’s the prayer that calms me as I cruise through tricky situations. Most of all it’s the prayer that slows me down, knowing that I can only do so much, the rest is in His hands.

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