Well, yes and no. Was I paying attention to the road and the turns? Not really. But I did notice the two dogs that were wrestling in their backyard. And I noticed the tennis shoes on the woman that was jogging down the sidewalk. I also noticed the bumper sticker about teachers and the little boy playing with his stuffed bear in the backseat of that blue station wagon. See, I was paying attention. . . just not to the right things. Jason has finally learned that if he wants me to learn a particular set of directions, he either has to instruct me from the beginning to pay attention (which doesn't always work), or he has to let me drive (which I don't like to do). Generally, though, once I've driven to a destination, I have it. I may not be able to tell you how to get there, but once I see the roads, it all comes back to me. Why? Because when I'm driving, I have to pay attention. I can't allow myself to get distracted by everything else that is going on around me.
Unfortunately, many times in life I'm prone to hand the car keys over to my emotions. And while they're doing the driving, my eyes are left to wander, though seldom to good things. I notice the empty bank account and wonder why we can't ever seem to catch a break. I notice the broken dreams, the broken promises and the broken hearts. I notice the things that aren't there but, according to my standards, should be. My emotions lead me on a path to despair and self-pity, and all the while, I'm so caught up in "the sights," I fail to notice the road signs warning of danger and the turns that would take me where I truly want to go.
Just like in my physical life, I've finally learned that if I want to reach my dreams, I have to stop letting my emotions do the driving. I have to take the keys, get behind the wheel and pay attention. I must heed every turn, every thought and every action. Not only that, but just as with physical driving, I must process the information my brain is receiving. I like to think of that process like the process of making coffee.
I know you may find this hard to believe, but I don't like coffee. My husband, however, in the past few years has grown very fond of it. So each morning, while he showers and dresses for work, I rise from my comfortable bed so that I can pack his lunch and make a fresh pot (or partial pot) of coffee. (Sometimes, I'm smart and do this the night before, but with Jason's crazy schedule, there's no telling!) In order for the coffee to brew properly, not to mention be drinkable, you must use a filter. Why? Because otherwise you'd end up with a cup of watery grinds. Yuck! That might break the coffee habit, huh?
The filter is a necessary part of the coffee brewing process. Likewise, our minds need a filter to distinguish between what things are good and what things are not. That filter is made up of God's promises. No matter what comes to us during the day (thought, action or feeling), we need only run it through the filter of God's promises. Feeling alone? God promised He would never leave us nor forsake us. Hmm, so that feeling is trash. Toss it! Thinking that no one understands what you're going through? God promised that He's aware of our infirmities. So that thought isn't true. Toss it! By filtering out the bad, we make more room for the good and, in turn, we become better servants for Christ.
Who's driving your life today? Are you in control of your thoughts, feelings and actions, or are your emotions taking you on a trip to nowhere? There is great danger in allowing ourselves to be a passenger in the journey of life, especially when emotion is doing the driving. Take control. Get behind that wheel, and pay attention to where you're going. You may be amazed at the direction God leads you and astounded by the joy in the journey. (And if you happen to see that woman jogging, ask her where she got those shoes.)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. - Philippians 4:8
*****An Excerpt from Mindful Musings of Moody Motivator*****