This week at work, I had to take an online e-learning course on defensive driving. It sounds weird to take a driving course on the computer, but I actually enjoyed it. It went over driving in bad weather – snow, ice, fog. . . There was a section on aggressive driving and what to do if you become agitated when someone cuts you off or drives ten miles below the speed limit. More importantly is what to do when other drivers become agitated at you. Your reaction to others is a critical part of arriving home safely.
But the one section that continues to come to my mind was the one on distracted driving. Rarely in our society are we “doing” just one thing at a time. We have become experts (?) at multi-tasking. Driving is one thing that even a little distraction, can result in tragedy. I’ve passed people on the road, who are texting, putting on mascara, and shaving with an electric shaver! How do they do that? I drink coffee on the way to work every day. Could that be a distraction? How many of you have eaten a burger and fries on the road? Our mouths can distract us from driving safely. Who knew? We often warn teenage drivers “don’t mess with the radio” while driving, but we change stations all the time. Have you ever taken a “road trip” with a crying baby or fighting siblings? Our ears can distract us from paying attention to our driving. Have you ever come up on a wreck or someone pulled over to the side of the road? You can’t help, but look to see what you can see! Yet, as we’re looking at the ambulance and fire truck on the side of the road, we might not realize that the car in front of us has slowed down to a crawl, and soon another wrecker is needed. Yes, our eyes can distract us from driving safely.
But, I propose that the most dangerous “body part,” when it comes to distracted driving, is our mind. How many times has your mind “wandered” when you’re on the road. I drive the same roads five days a week from Doniphan to Poplar Bluff, MO. I’ll be honest – there have been times when I look up and think, “I don’t remember going through Fairdealing,” yet here I am – almost home! I often “write blogs” in my mind in the car. I do a lot of praying and singing in the car. Could this be a distraction? One of the most tragic accidents that I’ve ever heard of happening is when a beautiful young girl was killed while driving on a straight stretch of highway. No other vehicles were involved in the accident. In fact, no other vehicles were around, no deer running across her path, no sun glaring in the window – what in the world happened to cause this young life to be snuffed out? The answer laid in the car itself. As they were examining the wreck, they realized that the odometer was at a perfect 100,000 miles. Evidently, she was watching for the odometer to roll over and wasn’t paying attention to driving. This distraction cost her her life.
Friends, it’s so easy to get distracted when driving, but are we not also guilty of getting distracted when it comes to living the Christian life? Do we let ballgames, going to the river, or hunting season keep us from attending worship services? During worship, are we distracted by our personal preferences of who is leading the singing and the tempo of the song that we forget that we’re singing praises to God? Are we concern with how long that public prayer is – that we forget that we’re praying to God? Do our minds wander during the Lord’s Supper? Are we actively participating during the lesson – you know, worship doesn’t occur in the pulpit – worship transpires in the hearts of those sitting in the pews!
This is such a busy time of the year – we need to remember to “keep the main thing, the main thing!” Don’t be distracted from what’s really important. Focus on things which are from above. God Bless, Courtney