Tuesday, September 27, 2011

livin' on cruise control

I got in the car today and headed to the next town, but something just wasn't right.  My car didn't want to stay at the same speed today, it just kept slowing down.  I'd speed up again and set my cruise control, only to have the car slowing down again.  Then I realized what was wrong.  My cruise control wasn't working.  I tried at least 5 more times to get it to work, but as much as I wanted it to, something was just not right.

Pretty much anytime I'm driving on the interstate, I set my car on cruise control.  Even if it's just for a few miles, it's become somewhat of a habit.  I set the car on cruise and just relax my foot for the drive.  Too often I find myself just letting my brain go on cruise control as well and that's when the problem starts.

I remember the last time I was pulled over was on a Sunday morning.  Yes.  It was about a year ago and I was taking the very familiar drive to church, about to turn on the interstate when I saw the flashing lights.  And it felt as though my heart just stopped.  And when it started again I realized I had been completely lost in my thoughts, just letting the car drive me to my destination.

Bad things happen when we just let ourselves mentally "coast" while driving and in life.  Thankfully, that morning, the "bad thing" became a good thing because it came in the form of a warning.

If you were to look up cruise control on wikipedia,  here's the "definition": 

Cruise control (sometimes known as speed control or autocruise) is a system that automatically controls the speed of a motor vehicle. The system takes over the throttle of the car to maintain a steady speed as set by the driver.

Yes.  This is just a definition about a device, but I think the key is how something else "takes over" the course that the driver has set.  When I use cruise control, my foot is essentially not in control of the speed of the car for as long as I let the cruise control it.  

It's funny because I really use cruise control to keep me out of trouble by keeping my speed in check.  But when I let my mind wander, there's where the problem comes in.

And this is what I was thinking about today...when I was jolted by the fact that my usual way wasn't working...for too long I have been on cruise control spiritually.  We were never meant to cruise through life without consideration.  In fact, we are warned in 1 Peter 5:8 to "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."  

For me, I'm realizing now how I have been on cruise control in several areas of my life.  Food is a big one.  So now, I'm having to be on extra alert to make changes that would have been more apparent had I been watchful for the enemy trying to fill me with physical pleasures instead of the spiritual pleasures I was made for.  I can tell this is going to be a tough journey because cruise control has become my norm.

So as you pray for me, I will be praying for you. What areas of your life have you placed on cruise control?  Together, let's be watchful of how the enemy is seeking to devour areas of our lives that belong to God!  I'm right there beside you trying to keep my foot on the pedal...or better yet...letting God take control.

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