Tag Archives: car

Auto-Pilot Distracted Living

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I am almost embarrassed to tell this story yet I know that freedom comes from sharing our testimony, so here it goes!  

It was an ordinary Sunday afternoon, church was over and dad needed to go to the grocery store.  Let me preface this story with dad is 85  and can no longer live alone so we try to help him out as much as taking him to the store and doctor appointments.  Being in bad health his demeanor is usually grumpiness and some confusion so the usual running conversation on Sunday afternoon goes something like this:

Me:  Dad, are you ready to go shopping?

Dad:  I would have rather gone this morning.

Me:  Sorry Dad I had to go to church.

Dad:  Had to go?

Me:  Yes dad, we have Bible Study and I am on the worship team.

Dad:  Ok, well, I hope I can make it…

This is the conversation we have almost every Sunday.  Then we get to the store and he is frustrated with how full the parking lot is and how many people he anticipates to be in the store.  Once we get in he worries the whole time the electric cart is going to leave him stranded in the middle of the store.  It is really sad to see how much fear riddles my dads life and frustrating at the same time, especially when those around us have no idea what we have been through just to get to the dairy section of the store.

So on this particular Sunday I was thinking a strategy in my head of how I was going to drop dad off at the grocery section of the store and I was going to go in the other entrance because I knew we needed hand soap.  So as I was parking the car I was planning my trip into the store when I pulled into the parking spot only to notice the car in front of me was about to leave and I thought to myself, “Boy I bet they are mad because they can’t just pull through to leave.’ (which is surely a thought I would have had if it was me)  Then  a car pulled up two spots away with a really loud stereo and my attention was drawn to that instead.

After all of those distractions I went back to focusing on the task at hand:  Operation Hand Soap. I entered the store as planned, grabbed the hand soap and headed across the store to the produce section where dad was waiting not so patiently and we spent the next hour acquiring groceries and disputing whether we needed items or not.  Almost done and dad is in a panic because the electric cart is at half battery so I tell him to proceed to the front check outs and I will finish getting the last few items. (which I took too long to do and prompted a cell phone call to inquire what happened to me)

We get to the check-out, I pack up the cart and the usual routine is dad pays and I head off to load the car and pick him up.  I reach for my keys and they are absent from my purse…already in a state of frustration, I begin to panic.  I had hoped they were not locked in the car because my husband would have no way to bring me a key and so this scenario begins in my head about how he will be upset and what about dad and what about the frozen foods……

I arrive at the car only to discover with somewhat relief that indeed the keys were in the car and I had somehow managed to leave the door unlocked.  So once I calmed myself down a bit and forgave myself for not taking the keys out and locking the door, I loaded the groceries in the back of the car and got in to pick up dad only to discover that not only did I leave the keys in the ignition with the car unlocked I had in fact also left it running.  What?  How?  Why?  I ran through my head the events leading up to this and I decided I was just too distracted.  This was so out of my character.  How could I have allowed this to happen?  Only by the grace of God was my car even still in the parking lot.

Well, this got me thinking for sure and the Lord started showing me how we have become so distracted with the things of this world we have kind of left our Christianity on Auto-Pilot in hopes that it will still be there when we return.  We go through the motions of our days often being distracted by this thing and then another until we are almost running around like chickens with our heads cut off.  We are barely thinking straight and often allow the things of this world to upset us far more than we should.

When we finally do take a moment to come to our senses and spend some time focusing on the things of God we often discover the spirit part of our lives is often left to fend for itself.  We find it hard to read the Word.  We try to fit in a Bible Study when we can. Often we just don’t want to listen to Christian music and enter into His Presence.

BUT GUESS WHAT!!

God’s grace is there.  He will keep us running.  He will be still be there when our focus returns to Him and the distractions have gone away.  When we face our fears and overcome our anxieties we once again realize that it was His grace the entire time that kept us safe.  It is His Grace which keeps our spirit in perfect peace when chaos erupts around us.  It is His Grace which keeps us safe even when great storms seem to separate us from seeing Him in a situation.  It is His Grace that keeps us from falling apart at the seams when we are too distracted to notice.  It is His Grace and Love which prevents us from ever getting to distracted to notice He loves us right where we are, lost or found

Dear Lord, Please help me to stay focused and not to be distracted by the things of this world.  Keep me safe and headed in the right direction.  I thank You for the peace which passes all understanding and I thank You for always loving me no matter where I have wandered.  In Jesus Name  Amen

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Fried

Proverbs 3:5-12 [Full Chapter]

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this.
consumed
Ever poured so much time, money and energy into something just to have it blow up right in front of you?  That’s how it has been with our car.  It started about a year ago…tires, struts, springs..minor things.  Then onto bigger issues…radiator, plugs, battery, alternator….oh I don’t even know how to list all the problems we have fixed one right after another…draining finances.  Well, we thought the radiator would be the end since pretty much we have a brand new car under the hood.  Thinking that perhaps we could now save for vacation, we relaxed.
Then I heard these words, “It’s not going anywhere.”
What? I did not even know what to do at that point..scream, cry or stomp my feet in protest.  Ya know that moment when it all hits you:  how are we going to afford what ever is next?  How did this happen?  How will I get to work? How will dad make his doctor appointments?  But I have dance practice Saturday at church.  Oh my goodness! How will I get to church on Sunday for the performance?  Do we need a new car?  How will we finance that?
So after ALL of those thoughts went racing through I asked, “so what exactly is wrong with it?”  Fried computer. What? But how…and the cycle of crazy thoughts began to repeat itself.  This is where the devil begins his dirty work.  He gets you to this place of hopelessness and you forget who your Daddy is.
It’s been almost a week since all of this has conspired and we are still carless.  We borrowed a few cars along the way to get where we had to go and now we are using my dad’s car until the new computer comes from somewhere in the world from E-Bay.  What has happened in the process?  It has caused us to contemplate a new car or an additional vehicle.  It has reminded us that God is truly in control and that we just need to breathe and let Him guide us.
I admit I was the one who went off the deep end of the pool this time.  I was drowning in doubt and unbelief.  I was swimming in frustration and worry.  I was so angry at one point that I just wanted to throw my hands up and say I quit!  Then my husband looked at me with those eyes burning with God’s love and said, “It’s going to be okay. Just trust.”
In that one moment I realized I was not practicing what I preach..God is in control.  Silly devil, ya almost got me there!  My God is bigger than a fried computer.  My God is bigger than getting a loan from the bank.  My God is bigger than my worry.  So here is my sigh and my willingness to let it go.  God will either fix our original car or provide something else, I need not be worried.

Sleep Awake

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. 1 John 3:18 MSG

rest1

Get some rest!  Time for a nap!  Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.  Slow down, take a load off.  How many times do we hear these statements?  We read them in magazines.  Our doctors tell us every visit.  We see endless television programs on it. Rest seems overrated in today’s society.  Who actually has time for it with our busy schedules?

I recently was down with an upper-respiratory flu and all I could do was sleep.  I got sick on a Saturday morning and was down for 5 days.  I think it is the first time I actually listened to the doctor and did my time in bed rest.  I knew in my head that I had work to think about, I was missing church and a had husband who needed me, however I had to overlook those things and focus on me for a moment.

I went back to work on Thursday and worked 3 full days only to find myself on Sunday unable to attend church and slept until 4:30 in the afternoon.  I felt like I missed out on a whole day yet my body was telling me it was time to rest.  I actually despise that word…REST.  I just feel like I don’t have time.  I have to blog.  I have to write book #3.  I have a hubby wanting to spend time together.  Oh, and work. And taking care of my dad and keeping track of my kids and building relationships. Did I mention church 4 times a week?  I sound like a broken shell of a human sometimes, so what keeps me going?  Rest.

Ironic as it is, rest is what keeps all of us going.  Whether it be the 8 hours at night or the 20 minute nap.  The 30 minute walk.  The 30 minutes of listening to our favorite music.  The 1 hour of prayer.  Or the 15 minutes we have to spend worshiping God on the way to work.  We as humans who have a body, soul and mind needs a pause once in awhile before we burn out and become unworthy to even be seen with.

In these next three blogs I will take a look at rest, refresh and reflect.  The reason I get through any day of the week is God.  If I do not take at least some time during my day to worship or rest IN God, I won’t make it.  Generally my rest period is my drive to work.  That 15 minutes I get for me and God.  I can tell Him anything.  I sing as loud as I want.  I am free to be me and my soul craves that!  Taking time to rest requires re-planning on our part.  Sometimes we just don’t have time for 8 hours of sleeping or 20 minutes of napping and all we can do is take a moment to commune with God no matter how brief.  I take time in the shower, my drive to work, the quiet time right before falling asleep, in the middle of my day I break out in song or prayer in my head….I just interject God wherever I can.

This brief encounter with God can make or break my day.  Where does your rest come from?  Are you one of the lucky ones who gets 8 hours of sleep EVERY night?  Do you have time in your day to nap?  Whenever it is, I pray each of you reading this takes a good look at your relationship with God and ask this simple question:  Am I resting IN Him everyday?  If the answer is no, then what can be changed so that He becomes a part of your daily walk.  We can’t just have Jesus on Sunday and make it through our week in peace.