Thursday, September 23, 2010

Changing your focus

Since my accident last week I have become a little gun shy behind the wheel. I've noticed how many times I day dream a little bit or get distracted behind the wheel. I used to joke about the fact that we drive on "auto pilot" a lot of the time but now I am becoming more and more aware of it. I'd say a good 30% of the time we are behind the wheel we are not concentrating on driving.

You think I'm crazy. Think about this next time you are behind the wheel. What happens when one of your favorite songs come on the radio? Don't you immediately either think of images from the music video, remember back to a time or place when you heard the song before, or conjure up images of somebody or something that you associate with the song? That's what I am talking about. You don't consciously take your attention away from what you are doing. It just happens.

What happens when you engage in a conversation with someone in the car or on the telephone even when using a hands free device? Most of the time your brain is working over time to think of what you are going to say next or to listen to what they are saying. How many times have you missed your exit or missed your turn because you were engaged in a conversation? Worse yet, have you ever had the other person say to you, "Aren't you supposed to turn here?"

Our brains are amazing. It is almost too much to comprehend when you begin thinking about the number of thought processes that can happen simultaneously. No wonder I had an accident. I am a deep thinker with a computer like brain! Don't I wish.

The truth is that so much of our behavior is automatic. We develop patterns in our lives and we often just follow the same routines day in and day out. Some are good and some are bad. The habit of going to worship every week is good. Smoking is bad. Going to bed at a reasonable hour is good. Eating at fast food restaurants is bad. Yet we follow these patterns unless something happens that forces us to stop and think about what we are doing. The accident did that for me. A health crisis does it for others. A break down of a relationship also works in this way.

The apostle Paul tells us in the book of Romans that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord. I think this is what he was talking about. Even bad things can be turned around and become blessings. When an unfortunate event occurs in life it forces us to stop and reconsider every aspect of our lives. It gives us a chance to turn off the auto pilot and begin charting a new course.

No one is happy about losing their job yet it may lead to a new opportunity in our life that is more fulfilling and can rejuvenate our spirit. no one ever wants a relationship to end but sometimes it can force us to look at our priorities and help us reorient ourselves to the most important people and thins in our lives. A health crisis may help us get rid of bad habits and push us to adopt a more healthy life style.

Our brains are incredible but sometimes we need to reprogram them and start over so that we can insure that we are receiving the blessings God intends for us. So next time there is a bump in the road on your journey, take the time to talk with God and see if there is something you need to change in order to get what god wants for you.

Be blessed.


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