Who hasn’t noticed those words? If you’ve ever sat in the passenger side of a vehicle, you’ve probably seen those little words which are actually a safety warning and are required to be engraved on the passenger side mirror of all motor vehicles in the U.S. Why? Well to make a very long explanation, that has everything to do with physics short, it relates to the way light bounces off of a flat surface versus a convex surface, and the way the side mirrors are positioned to compensate for angle and distance in relation to the driver’s eye. This compensation although offering a wider viewing angle sacrifices accuracy, making the image thats being reflected appear further than what it really is.
So what does that all mean? Basically, that when sitting on the drivers side everything you see behind you through the passenger side mirror is closer than what you think.
I can appreciate this warning, as it helps to decrease misperceptions of the space between me and what lies behind me. And on many occasions having been able to gauge the distance has kept me from major collisions!
Just yesterday morning, there was a terrible car wreck that left pieces scattered all across the 4 lane wide street. I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened, and if one of the cars had not seen the other coming and maybe miscalculated the distance. This happens more often than we know and not only on the street or highway but in our lives as well.
Though we don’t have a side rearview mirror per say, just like our cars, the objects of our past are closer than they appear. Whether it be a person, habit, memory, or situation it is necessary that we measure the distance we keep in order to avoid an accident. Many times as we look back we let our guard down, and our perception of how close the past is to us becomes distorted, and we suddenly become wrapped up again in past drama. Though we may have moved on from who or what we once were we must keep in mind that if the proper distance isn’t kept, we can easily merge into what once was without even noticing that its happening. The warning sign is there for a reason not to make us insecure and fear being haunted our whole lives but rather for motivational purpose; to keep us moving forward at all times so that we don’t allow the gap between us and our past to close in and quietly become us.
Praying you avoid any and all collisions with your past this week and that you have the strength to keep the distance from all those things you left behind at one point. If they didn’t serve you then, they will not serve you now!