We were driving up north on I-95 to Aroostook County in our new car, and I was just taking in the beauty of the scenery in Maine. My husband was driving, so I was free to relax, look around, and enjoy the journey. Then it happened … a huge bug splattered on the windshield directly in my field of vision. Suddenly that was all I could see! Not because it filled the entire windshield, but because my eyes were fixated upon the huge smear left behind. To be truthful, it really aggravated me that it would have to splatter right in that spot! It spoiled the view! No longer was I seeing the beauty of the countryside and the woods. All I could see was that big yellow spot on the windshield!
After listening to me sputter and mutter about it for a few minutes, my husband finally asked me if I wanted him to stop the car, get out, and physically remove it for me, seeing as the windshield wipers and washer were having no effect. Realizing how childish I must have sounded, I sighed, decided to be an adult about it, and replied, “No, I’ll just shift my position.”
Sure enough, by shifting over a couple of inches in my seat, I could see past the smear and enjoy the scenery once again. No longer was it a distraction! I could look past it, and ignore it, even though I knew it was still there.
As I reflected on the incident, I began to relate it to how easily we let little things distract us spiritually and prevent us from seeing the big picture, so to speak. When our eyes should be focused on Christ and His Kingdom, messy things happen to draw our attention away, and we become focused on the disasters taking place in the space around us. Sometimes it takes someone else to speak into our lives and remind us that we need to shift our position and refocus our eyes on the beauty of Christ and His coming Kingdom.
I love that old chorus by Helen H. Lemmel: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
Bad things can happen to us when we become distracted. Many deaths are caused every year because of driver distractions. I read some statistics from The Zebra stating four types of driver distractions: 1.) Visual: looking at something other than the road. 2.) Auditory: hearing something not related to driving. 3.) Manual: taking hands off the wheel. 4.) Cognitive: thinking about something other than driving.
Wow! If we would think about those four types of distractions from a spiritual perspective, we could come up with a whole lot of comparisons and reasons why so many have had spiritual wrecks in their lives, with some ending in spiritual deaths!
Dear Jesus, help us to keep our eyes focused upon you, and not allow ourselves to become distracted by the things of this world, no matter how troubling they may be. Keep us safe by the power of your Spirit, throughout this life to the end of our earthly journey. Amen