Friday, August 10, 2007

Who's watching you?

Seems Ms. Spears has had another slight "ooopsie".

Britney's parking lot fender bender

Seems she bumped a car in a parking lot, in front of the constant presence of paparazzi, and then drove off. Is this another case of superstar thinking she's above the law? I don't think so. It may be something a little more personal than that. And more pervasive in her life (as well as others). But let me share a little account from vacation.

There will be more about this story in the trip report (beginning Monday), but I had a small accident while on vacation. I backed into a car in a parking garage. When I got out to look, I had put quite a sizable dent in the bumper. So I did what I thought I was supposed to do - I found a cop. There was a police officer close by working security and being off-duty, he had to call the security office to do an incident report.

He and I were waking back to the car and chatting. He turned to face me and stuck his hand out. I thought he wanted to introduce himself (which I thought was weird) but he wanted to thank me for taking the time to make a report. Later that evening the owner called me to thank me for taking the time to make the report. Finally I was telling a friend about it (he happens to be a police officer) and he said, "Good for you," when I told him about making the report.

This got me to wondering if there is so little integrity in this area to make a deal about it when it is done. Weren't we all taught in Driver's Ed to at least exchange information in an incident like this? So why is it worthy of comment?

Integrity is a quality to so many people overlook these days. We don't see integrity very often on television or in the news. We don't even seem to expect it from one another. And when we hear about it, even in something that is obviously a simple circumstance, it causes us to take a moment to acknowledge it.

Now back to Ms. Spears. Here is a parallel situation to what I had. The only exception was that, when I bumped a car there was no one around to see it. I could have driven off without anyone the wiser that it was a short, fat, bald preacher from Oklahoma who bumped it. Britney seems completely disconnected from her reality to think that she could drive off without anyone seeing or saying anything.

Has Britney simply lost all sense of right or good? This is more than superstar-itis. This is an apparent lack of morality or conscience. She portrays no integrity in a positive sense.

So the teachable moment is this - who is watching you when you act? We are often surrounded by someone who can see us. Family, coworkers, church or social circles, complete strangers. There is always the possibility that someone will see us.

But then there is the greater witness. Each of us has a personal direct connection to God. But we act as if that connection were in our control. Psalm 139 states that there is no where we can go and be removed from the presence of God. God is ever present in our lives. And that is the one person we should be striving to show our true self to. For God can see the hearts and minds. God can judge whether we are being true to our self.

Integrity. Being true when no one is watching. Even though someone will always see us.