Monday, November 12, 2012
Let’s look at one important fact: You cannot drive without distraction. If all else is being done right, your own mind will drift away to some other thoughts besides your driving. That is not to say that those things defined as distracted driving are not extremely serious. It is to say that all driving is serious and some type of extreme caution must be taken to pay attention.
I have a very fond memory of giving a young lady a ride one day during the time that she was taking driving lessons. She was quite passionate about paying attention. She exclaimed that “you can’t take your mind off your driving, even for a minute.” :) That’s when I first realized that “that is impossible.” And I have since learned that lesson well.
Being aware of our driving and all the possibilities for messing up or having someone else mess us up is very important. But thinking about those things exclusively for any serious period of time is basically impossible. Yes, we need to limit what we do or concentrate on while we drive. And we need to be aware that some things distract us for way too long: chewing on anger, worrying, crying, using cell phones or other radio devices, staring in the rear view mirror too long, staring at a person in the car to whom we are speaking, even just singing along with our favorite tunes or talking a blue streak with great enthusiasm. That last one is a trick I pull much too often. If I ever offer you a ride home be sure that I am going toward YOUR home and not mine because my brain GPS will otherwise take me straight to my house. That is where my car is trained to go. I can pretty much forget “stopping” somewhere for a moment on the “way home,” too, because my car is very stubborn that way.
My thought on handling these things with a normal (not super) mind is that we must practice. As we learn to drive and as we “practice” driving, we must include times of complete control: deliberately going through the motions we were taught and know, training and retraining our mind to react to the possibilities we know are out there. Then, when we are distracted our brain will pick up on things we may not be totally aware of in time to respond. Even when we are not in the car, we can go over these things in our minds to help keep us alert. And don’t tell me you don’t do it when someone else is driving, otherwise why would you slam on the brake you don’t have at nearly every intersection? :) I even think that training for the worst case scenarios is an excellent idea if we can get into such a class.
So, where does distracted living come into this? Well, because of conclusions drawn in my Bile study classes, I have been considering the facts of distracted living. We definitely live distracted lives. There are just too many things that need to be done and too little time to do them so we tend to jump and run, grabbing what we can as we go, without much regard for who we are following or who is leading us through each and every day. And that can be very dangerous. A crash could be pending.
I’m thinking that in order to live life without distraction from where we are going, what we are supposed to do, and why, we need to practice, going over and over again in our minds (with heart felt urgency) those things which Christ expects of us as God’s children, His brothers and sisters, and His friends. And we need to consciously practice those things He has told us to do. But, first, we must know what He taught us to do and that means we have to become well acquainted with Him in His Word.
I was reminded just yesterday how important it is to understand that worship is not about us, it is about God. We are not at all encouraged to seek our own blessing in worship, but to bring blessing to God in our praise and study. (Check Revelation 4.) And our training in the Word is not about us, it is about Him. We need to stop looking constantly for OUR blessing from His Word and seek more intimate knowledge of Him from His Word and that will be our blessing for the day. And that can be our reminder of how Christ expects us to live out our day, His way.
We will find much distraction in our daily lives, but we must keep our ears and eyes alert to Him and we must keep the communication channels open, constantly; talking with Him about every little thing, in order to be used by Him daily. May we all practice life with Christ in full enthusiasm for the Peace and Joy it will bring us and the blessings and worship it will bring to Him. Hallelujah, He is God!