Be Aware and On Track!

During our Texas vacation, I walked in the neighborhood each morning before sunrise. My usual workout at home involves the treadmill and recumbent bicycle. Since summers in the Lone Star State can be brutal, I prefer a somewhat “cooler” walk at 5:30am when the temperature is 80 degrees instead of 107 degrees after lunchtime! Every morning I enjoy meeting several residents walking along with their dogs on a leash. These various sized canines are eager to be outside, sniffing the smells and wagging their tails.

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This week,  while driving home from the grocery store, we encountered a different approach to an afternoon stroll. It was something spectacular!  A young preteen was riding his bike uphill through the busy neighborhood intersection. What made this so unusual was that this young guy was also holding the left handlebar grip while gripping a remote control with the same hand. I don’t know how he did it, but he reached across the bars with his right hand to the control’s joystick and effortlessly guided his remote-control toy vehicle up the street and onto the sidewalk.

It looked like he had simply taken this toy car out for an afternoon walk! We sat at the stop sign and watched this amusing and amazing feat. This daring boy steered the bike and the car onto the sidewalk and further up the hill without missing a pump on the bike or without crashing the car into the vehicles parked on the side of the street! It was all as fluid as a ballet performance!  It may have been the finest example of multi-tasking I have seen in quite a while. Of course, I still struggle with just chewing my gum and riding a bicycle at the same time!😊

We all know the danger in what we saw. However, this pre-teen was likely oblivious to the perils of riding a bike without a helmet, and on a busy neighborhood street while distracted. Distractions like this have many applications for adults: driving a car while talking or texting on a cell phone, riding a bicycle or skateboard while caught up in the moment, or even walking before sunrise by streetlight while listening to a newscast with earbuds! I plead guilty to the latter!  I had my head down yesterday concentrating on the news when I walked up a grade and nearly bumped into one of the neighbors and his wife who were both walking dogs!

Being aware of, and focused on our surroundings, is a challenge for today’s Christ-followers who live with numerous worldly distractions. The great Apostle Paul was often confronted with the distractions of health issues, violent resistance and imprisonment. He could have retreated from the adversities of his life, stayed in his comfort zone rather than travelling to dangerous and distant places on land or on storm-tossed seas. Yet, he stayed centered on his calling and service for Christ.

Despite the “less than ideal” distractions and circumstances, Paul exclaimed, “I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So, let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision – you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.” (Philippians 3:14-16, MSG).

Where is your attention focused today? What are your motivations? What do you need to do in the face of many distractions? Let’s trust God to guide us in the right way and keep us on the right track!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.






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