Everyday the term ‘distracted driving’ occurs in the media. Distracted driving is certainly a major problem. Cell phones are now responsible for as many accidents as driving under the influence. People are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated at the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08% (source: University of Utah).
With the idea of serious consequences arising from distracted driving in mind, I want to propose that ‘distracted living’ likewise has significant costs. The sobering reality is that distracted living can have eternal consequences. The account in 1 Kings 20 provides a dramatic illustration. A soldier was charged with a life or death responsibility. “Guard this man with your life; if he turns up missing you’ll pay dearly. But I got busy doing one thing after another and the next time I looked he was gone” (1 Kings 20:40, MSG). He forfeited his life because he was distracted.
During the horrific days of World War II, Winston Churchill was often under duress and frequent criticism for his decisions. When asked if he had any comment about the criticism and disparagement, he replied “You’ll never reach your destination if you stop to throw rocks at every dog that barks.” We must not be distracted by criticism, pursuit of wealth, entertainment, social status, or any other ‘fleeting pleasures of sin’ (Hebrews 12:25, NIV).
The journey through the days of our lives are fraught with diversions. My journey has been complicated by mild ‘attention deficit disorder’. It doesn’t take a lot to get me distracted. I have found the following scriptural advice most helpful:
- “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you” (Proverbs 4:25, NKJV).
- “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14, NKJV).
- “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Prayer: Lord, help me to stay focused on You today. No distractions.
~ Brother Roy