Not Paying Attention, Going too Fast and Cutting the Corner

Wednesday is for Prayer

Yesterday I went on the longest bike ride of my two and half month biking career. Twenty miles. It almost ended in the first .3 of a mile. I left my driveway, pedaled down the street, took a right turn at the end of the circle and was approaching the next intersection when a car whose driver was not paying attention (startled look on their face), going too fast, and cutting the corner on  their turn almost hit me head on.

I would have twenty miles and nearly two hours to think about my “near death” experience.  I think a lot of us get into a lot of trouble because of those three near-causes of my death yesterday afternoon.

We Aren’t Paying Attention

We are just drifting through our days, doing “our thing”, running our errands, without a lot of thought about what is going on around us. We aren’t listening for God’s voice, the crying needs of people around us, the teachable moment in our family members lives. We just aren’t emotionally and spiritually present to the world. Instead, we are either aimless and unproductive or so focused on our agenda that we are blind to the Spirit’s guidance in the moment.

We’re Going too Fast 

I don’t know what the driver of the car that almost hit me was rushing too. I’m sure that they felt it was important. But the bottom line was they almost killed me and put a real damper on my day!  And that’s how it is with all of us. When we are moving too fast for the limits that God has placed in our lives, we are often very likely to hurt someone.

On the road today, a collision was avoided but sometimes, we aren’t so fortunate and neither are the people we hurt. One of the remarkable things about the life of Jesus is that there is no evidence that he was ever in a hurry to do or get anywhere. Let’s imitate the Master and slow down enough to see and interact with the opportunities and people that God is putting around us. 

We’re Cutting Corners

How many problems do we create for ourselves because we try to cut corners on the task at hand? One of the slogans that I paid the kids to memorize when they were growing up was, “There is never enough time to do a thing right, but there is always enough time to do it again.” (Slogan #12) The point of the slogan was to teach our children to do the task right the first time so they didn’t have to do it over. We all need to learn that.

“Lord, thanks for sparing my life today. And thanks for reminding me that all the things that driver was doing wrong in our near collision are a metaphor for the kind of things I do all the time. Help me to pay attention to you and the people around me. Help me  to slow down the pace of my life so that I am not tempted to cut corners. Make me a man who knows the moment and is ready to help so that I can be your man in every situation. In the Name that is above every name, Amen.”


3 thoughts on “Not Paying Attention, Going too Fast and Cutting the Corner

  1. Thanking the Lord for your safety, Marty. I’ve had similar experiences riding my bike on roads with careless drivers. “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me (us).” Good application from your experience. But most of all, I’m stuck in prayer giving thanks for His marvelous love and protection for you! God bless…

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  2. Funny…I had a ‘rushing encounter’ last evening. I flew into Denver and went hurrying to claim my bag at the baggage claim area. There were several red bags similar to mine and as I went to grab the one I thought was mine, my daughter and husband surprised me. As a result and due to the hurry, I didn’t check the baggage tag, and it ended up in a midnight run back to the airport because I had grabbed the wrong one…I knew I should have checked the claim number. Inconvenient for us, but a good lesson nonetheless.

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    1. Terry,
      Thanks for both your thoughts and your prayer. Isn’t it marvelous to know the living God?

      Sharon,
      Opps. That’s a great example of the kind of problems we create for ourselves and others. Think (I know you have) of the inconvenience to other person whose bag you had!

      I just read a letter that one of my children wrote to me, confronting me, when they were probably only 8 or 9 years old. Apparently, I had been short, distracted and and hurried in a series of responses to them and they had been hurt. Still stings to know I caused them pain. Still wonderful to know that the gospel covers my sin, my children have forgiven me and the future isn’t controlled by the past. All because of the Jesus rose from the grave.

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