I am excited, once again, to have Pastor Mic as a guest blogger. He’s a regular man, walking his faith, and telling his truth. His blog, Driven to Distraction, is a good old fashioned reminder that God loves us enough to do what any good parent does, provide caution when needed. After reading his blog my epiphany is that God is not a rock star. We don’t need that “backstage pass” to get to know Him. We don’t have to wait for death to give us a better life. He is with us, this day, this moment, right where we are. His sparkles of grace are all around us!
John 8:12King James Version (KJV) 12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Football season is here! This means less yard work, summer vacations are over, and that new sixty inch television will be able to display all its HD magic! The important thing to remember is – no distractions.
I drive to work every morning through the beautiful countryside of eastern Alabama with its rolling hills and valley. With that beauty, comes also rain and fog that hovers in the valleys. Many times I have to slow down and use my fog lights so I can see better and to keep me from running off the road into a ditch or over a cliff. This morning was one of those mornings and as I drove I thought “That’s the way the Lord is”. He brightens our path. When the storms of this life rolls in like a thick fog and our lives are filled with rain, He will light our path with His written word or a word of encouragement from another Christian that will illuminate our path with His love, keeping us out of the ditches of this world and taking us safely home.
I just got back from an HR conference in Orange Beach and one of the classes I attended was entitled “Driven to Distraction”. The class was all about how we as drivers are distracted by so many things other than what we are supposed to be doing – driving. The instructor talked about the dangers of not focusing on the road and the vehicles around us. Most of the distractions were obvious such as being on the phone, texting, changing the radio, putting on make- up and passengers. He explained how dangerous it is to be distracted. As I sat there I started thinking about the spiritual aspect of this subject. As Christians, we too are driven to distractions that can take our eyes off the Christian road.
I’m not going to elaborate on each one and how it can distract us. I’m sure you can look at each one and KNOW how it can distract us can’t you?
I’m not talking about not doing any of this; everything in moderation. With football season starting, I think you know what I mean!
Making use of the most widely read guide book, the Bible, will help us with avoiding the pitfalls of distractions. It is a “cautionary tale”, it’s purpose to help us “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”(Philippians 3:14).
Did you ever notice how much of life is full of warnings and cautions? You can’t drive anywhere without seeing something that’s a direct warning or caution, or at the very least, a law or a limit with an implied warning.
Speed limits are an example. They’re an implied warning that if you drive over that limit, you can be ticketed, or get yourself hurt, or hurt someone else…. that’s why we have limits.
There are road hazard warnings. The road narrows ahead – move over or you’ll run out of pavement. There are all kinds of warnings in life.
Most products we purchase have labels warning about improper use. I found a great list of these kinds of warnings. Believe it or not, these are all real. Here’s a few:
– A fishing lure, with a warning that reads: harmful if swallowed.
– A warning label found on a baby stroller cautions the user to “Remove child before folding”
– A cardboard car sun-shield that keeps sun off the dashboard warns, “Do not drive with sunshield in place”
We can laugh about these and think who would be foolish enough to need such warnings?
But apparently someone did something goofy enough or some lawyer thinks someone is or will be foolish enough to actually drive with the sunshade in place.
Then of course, we often hear about warnings that go unheeded and the sometimes very serious consequences of these things that aren’t at all funny.
For example, how often have we heard the clear warning: “don’t drink and drive?”
But then how often do you hear or read of a drunk driver who causes an accident that kills someone.
Focusing on warnings or admonitions can help us know the difference when making choices that hurt or help ourselves and others. Cautions and warnings can be our friends. They exist to keep us well. Sometimes they exist to keep us alive.
The same is true of our life in Christ. While we rely completely on the grace of God, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for our eternal destiny, we Christians sometimes do things to mess up our lives on earth.
We can all think of things we’ve done or not done, things we’ve seen others do or not do, things that had at least some short-term negative consequences or often even long-term or life-altering consequences.
The Word of God is first and foremost is a story of how Jesus lived a life worthy of eternal salvation, as it details His plans for our eternal salvation. It is a guide that helps us focus on making us better and in the doing, makes our world better.
For, it’s not just a book full of caution and warning. The readings helps us understand how we can live Godly lives for Him and in doing that, escape the consequences of what we’d otherwise have to classify as foolish behavior.
While this world just about guarantees some measure of trouble, illness, or hardship, by walking wholeheartedly with Jesus, by devoting our lives to Him, we can escape or handle the hardships that we have to deal with in life.
There’s no guarantee of total bliss, even with the Lord, but things do go better as we focus: “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)
—Mic Barnett, Alabama