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