Paying dearly for not paying attention

It was a typical Friday afternoon commute for me.  Same route.  Same lane selections.  Same traffic patterns.  After a busy week I was looking forward to an evening out with my family.  I was not paying attention.

Honestly, I don’t know WHAT I was thinking about.  Maybe I looked in my mirrors.  Maybe a pedestrian or cyclist caught my attention.  But when I looked back at the road in front of me, I knew I was in trouble.  A car was stopped in my lane, less than 30 feet away.  At 50 mph, your car covers that distance in about 4 tenths of a second!  That’s enough time to stomp on the brakes and start to skid.  Then you impact.

In the weeks since then I’ve played the scene over and over in my head.  I doubt I’ll ever know what my mind was doing prior to that moment.  But I do know that I wasn’t paying attention.  And I’ve had to pay dearly for it.  I’ve had to pay for rental cars, deductibles, increased insurance rates, and countless trips to the chiropractor.  And that doesn’t even begin to account for all the lost time and opportunities.  Furthermore, I seriously doubt that the guy whose car I slammed into will have a very good impression of pastors…or even the church.

So where am I going with this?  Good question.  I think that sometimes our life is like a Friday afternoon commute.  We’ve driven the same route, with the same lane selections and the same traffic patterns.  We’ve heard the same questions, gone through the same motions, and seen the same faces over and over.  And we stop seeing.  We stop asking.  We stop listening.

But I believe that God has more for your life than that.  I believe that God is always doing something new, even in the routines of life.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.  (Isaiah 43:18-19)

It’s very easy to slip into inattention and miss what God is doing.  And the cost could be high.  You could miss out on opportunities.  You could miss out on relationships.  You could miss out on a chance to impact the lives of people God has intentionally directed into your path.  You could even miss out on the power of God in your own life, leaving you going in the same circles year after year.

To prevent that, why not make this the summer you refuse to be inattentive?  Begin each morning with a simple conversation with God:

“God, today I want to pay attention to what you’re doing in me, around me, and through me.” 

Then at the end of each day, take five minutes to ask:

“Where did I see God at work today?”  “What did I hear God saying to me today?”

Refuse to pay the high cost of not paying attention.

-Pastor Mark

P.S. – I finally got my truck back from the body shop last weekend.  Thankfully, it’s all put back together!

Posted on June 21, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. that’s true.. i’ve seen it myself. There are other friends of mine that I pray will see that in their lives too. And YOU CAN miss what God is trying to do in your life. We sit around all day waiting for God to do stuff.. Uh.. HELLO!! He already sent his son to DIE for us.. i think it’s about time we get off our BUTTS and do stuff too.

  2. I’m sorry to read about your trying experience. But it allowed you to minister to me where I am, moping about moving from my children’s homestead into what could be my final residence.
    Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18-19)
    God will open ways to serve here even as I look forward to seeing old friends on Sundays.

  3. Thank you for the post. I really needed to hear “Forget the former things, do not dwell in the past.” You see, I’ve been putting off getting rid of a few old boxes of momentos from my past though I know deep down its really time to let them go. Thank you Mark for the reminder. Your message was timely for me!

  4. Forgetting the former things is difficult at times.. We like to ruminate and try to figure things out.. we really shouldn’t do that either… God is soul worrier in my book… I want that time to spend doing other new exciting or boring things for HIM! I think God wants us to let him work it out! He will hear our prayers and mend our problems at all times and on His time!

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