Can't live forward by looking in rearview mirrorApr 22, 2022
Whatever has your attention will affect your direction. And, of course, your direction determines your destination.
Therefore, you should pay attention to what you pay attention to (odd sentence, I know- you may need to read it again).
When I was learning to drive (at the age of 15) with my learner’s permit, my Dad noticed that when I was driving in the evening my car would often begin moving towards the ongoing traffic.
Finally, he told me, “The lights of the oncoming cars are getting your attention and you’re unintentionally steering towards them.”
I learned to recognize the lights that were coming, but to ALSO pay MORE attention to my lane— and the road ahead of me. Those lights were a distraction.
You may have never swerved towards oncoming traffic, but you may have found yourself spinning the wheel too far when you leaned over your shoulder to speak to a passenger in the back seat— while driving forward!
Or, you’ve inadvertently sloshed the wheel to the right while trying to text and drive!
(Ok, not you, but your friend…)
We use terms like “That grabbed my attention” and “That captured my attention” all the time.
It’s not a bad phenomenon when our attention is arrested by the right thing.
But when it’s taken by the wrong things, we can run off the road.
When I was in seminary, I drove from Texas to Birmingham… a lot. Every break I had, in fact.
A relationship had my attention.
Others were driving to the beach or to see friends from college.
Those things had their attention.
You’ve seen this happen for lesser things, too, if you’ve ever planned your meal stops on a road trip. The food at whatever restaurant you plan to hit has captured your attention. As such, you make a short detour.
These detours in life can be good (such as a good meal with friends can be) or they can be detrimental.
The important factor is to note that this happens so we can actually take ownership and control over it…
Here’s what the Bible says—
👉 Psalm 119:35-37 tells us to turn our eyes away from worthless things.
👉 Proverbs 4:25 says to “let your eyes look straight ahead... fix your gaze before you.”
👉 Matthew 6:22-23 says that the eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, then your whole body will be full of light, we read. But, if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.
(This fits with the idea of “attention.” It really matters where we look.)
👉 Hebrews 2:1 says that we must pay careful attention so that we do not drift (like I was into ongoing traffic!).
In other words, the Bible tells you and me to do the following:
✅ Plan your way (let it have your attention), the
✅ Walk in it (let the destination keep your attention)
Finally, notice this…
“Attention” is not an emotionally neutral issue. We are captured by things that we feel drawn to…
... that is, it comes from the heart.
This video comes from The Next Best Step: https://www.jenkins.tv/NBS
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