Surely all of us have bumped into something when we weren’t paying attention. We likely heard someone tell us, “Look where you’re going.” That phrase contains both physical as well as spiritual wisdom. Between 2011 and 2018, more than nine percent of fatal crashes in the United States involved a distracted driver. Spiritually speaking, Advent is the time of year we are called to rid ourselves of distractions and look where we are going. Doing so, might help save us. Please read more.
It is so easy to become distracted when driving. We can become visually, audibly, manually, or cognitively distracted. Today, I want to focus on visual distractions. We all know by now that texting while driving can result in a fatal crash. We are visually distracted in many other ways as well. Drivers tend to veer to the right or to the left when they are distracted by something on the right or left side of the road. This is caused by something known as visuomotor coordination. Scientists have found a direct correlation between our gaze and our steering control. Simply stated, we drive in the direction we are looking. If we want to drive straight, then we need to look straight down the road. The same is true for our spiritual life.
Advent is a joyous time of looking forward. It is a time of hope, joy, and the anticipation for the Messiah. Advent is filled with the excitement of the coming of the Christ Child. We have ample time during the year to symbolically wrap ourselves in sackcloth and cover ourselves in ashes and focus on our short comings and sins. In many of my writings, I attempt to draw our attention to the broken areas in our lives. Not to say that we shouldn’t do that during Advent as well, but Advent is really a time to focus on filling our lives with the joy of our Messiah.
Now that we are in the middle of Advent, we need to redirect our gaze forward. In 2018, I wrote Don’t Keep Looking Back. In that 4th Day Letter, I shared the following Bible verses. Jeremiah 31:34 states, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Isaiah 43:25 says: “I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Hebrews 8:12 tells us, “For I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more.”
We all probably have things in our past that cause us regret. The reality is this, no matter what we have done in the past, it is in the past and we can’t change it. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.” Advent is the time of year to eliminate the distractions in our lives and refocus our sight on the prize of Jesus Christ.
Two of the Bible passages that we read during Advent seem to speak to the issue of distracted driving. Isaiah 40:3 tells us, “A voice proclaims: In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!” In John 1:23, John the Baptist said, “I am ‘the voice of one crying out in the desert, “Make straight the way of the Lord.” How do we make straight our path? Remember what we learned about driving. We steer in the direction that we are looking. We must look where we want to go! As it says in Hebrews 12:2, “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.”
Let’s stop, for just a moment, and ask ourselves these important questions during this busy holiday season. Where has my focus been lately? Are my eyes focused on the Messiah or am I distracted by the pandemic and the Christmas rush?
The prize of everlasting life awaits us if we keep our eyes focused on Jesus. He is our King and our Lord! Perhaps no song captures the growing sense of the joy and anticipation of Advent better than the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. During these remaining days of Advent, with our vision clear and our distractions removed, let’s join together in singing the crescendo of the song that ushers in the birth of the Christ Child on Christmas Day. For He is our King of kings and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever
Forever and ever
Forever and ever
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