Know your surroundings

A few years ago, I was selected as a juror in a civil trial.  It was an interesting experience.  First of all, I was shocked to have been chosen.  Having been assigned several times in the past, I just knew after I arrived, the clerk would walk out, thank everyone for coming, then dismiss us because an agreement had been reached. That didn’t happen this time.  This case was going to trial.

We filed into the courtroom row-by-row, mobile devices shut down and numbers assigned. They began to ask a number of questions.  I sat silently. I thought "if I don't engage they won't pick me".  I just knew I would be going home! Oh how I was wrong.

When the questioning came to a close, I grabbed my phone and gathered my things, because this girl had to get back to work. I was stunned when I heard “juror number 28”. Did they call my number? Surely she didn’t just call juror number 28. My eyes dropped slowly to confirm what I already knew – I was juror number 28. I was chosen for jury duty.

And it began. The case involved an accident between a van and motorcycle.  Throughout the trial I discovered quite a bit about roadway safety. And, I quickly realized I needed to make some adjustments with my driving for the safety of those on the road with me. I also learned an acronym designed to help drivers make decisions regarding potential traffic situations. As the transportation expert explained the details of this process, I could see how this process can be applied to our daily lives.  

Here is the SIPDE process:

  • SCAN – Sweep, search and scan the area. Be alert and keep your eyes moving at all times. 
  • IDENTIFY – Identify what’s going on around you.  Know your surroundings.  Other people, potholes, road signs or stationary objects might come in your way.
  • PREDICT – Predict oncoming threats or dangers. Consider your speed and the direction in which you are traveling.
  • DECIDE – You need to decide, in advance, to avoid conflict, reduce impact or avert an accident.  The course of action you take will be determined by how well you’ve searched and familiar you are with your surroundings.
  • EXECUTE – You must convert your plan into action. Execute with confidence and communicate effectively with those around you. You may need to make course corrections or adjust your speed and direction.

Everyday, we are faced with circumstances that have the potential to knock  us off course.  God, knowing we can't make it without his supernatural resources, has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us along life's journey.

Make sure you are aware and pay attention to your surroundings as you drive and live your life. Keep your eyes open and lean in to the direction of the Holy Spirit. He will direct your path.