Maybe she was looking for her “10 seconds of fame.” Or perhaps she just really wanted to say “Hi” to her grandma and grandpa, as her sign indicated. Whatever the intentions, during this year’s Tour de France, this woman caused “one of the worst crashes in Tour de France History” (DailyMail.co.uk).
As the riders approached her position, the woman stepped out slightly into the road with her sign, turned her back to the riders, and faced the camera. With no way to avoid her, the German cyclist, Tony Martin, slammed into her arm and lost control of his bike, crashing onto the road. With nowhere else to go and not enough time to react, many of the riders behind him also crashed. In addition to the massive pileup, the crash resulted in 21 cyclists being “seriously hurt” as well as injuries to several spectators (ibid).
As the chaos unfolded, the woman fled the scene. Police searched for days until she finally turned herself in at a police station. She is now facing potential fines, prison time, and a lawsuit from the Tour de France. Even though it’s unlikely the woman had any nefarious intentions, and the lawsuits against her seem a bit extreme, the fact of the matter is this woman put herself in this situation because 1) she wasn’t paying attention, and 2) she was looking to be seen.
It’s incredible how often we get ourselves into trouble for these two reasons, especially on the spiritual level. In Matthew 6, Jesus points out that this was the very problem with the Pharisees & Scribes. Since they weren’t really paying attention to the heart of God’s teachings, they far too often gave, prayed, and worshiped to be “seen by men” (vs. 1, 3, 5, 16, 18). Sadly, we can be just as guilty.
Not Paying Attention – How often have we worshiped only to walk away realizing we didn’t pay attention to a single word in the songs? How often have we let our minds wander during the Lord’s Supper, a prayer, or a sermon? If we’re not careful, we can completely lose sight of Who and why are worshiping.
Seen By Men – How often do we serve in a way so that people will see us? How often do we post our “accomplishments” on social media for others to see and praise us? How often are we, if we’re being honest, seeking praise from men instead of from the Lord? If we’re not careful, we can secretly serve for our own glory instead of for the Lord’s.
We must do better. Let’s “fix our eyes on Jesus” and cause people to “glorify our Father who is in heaven” instead of us (Hebrews 12:1-2; Matthew 5:16).