Staying focused is key to not losing our peace, whether we’re following in traffic or walking in faith.
Whenever I have to follow my husband in traffic—usually when I don’t know where we are going so I have a fear of losing him—I become very intent on keeping my eye on him. This isn’t as easy as you would think because my husband isn’t as cautious as I am and likes to zip through traffic. Often I think he forgets I’m tailing him. Sometimes I think he frequently changes lanes just to see if I’ll follow. Most of the time I do, but sometimes I get irritated and stay put if I can still keep him in my line of vision.
His moving from lane to lane and back again is his attempt to reach our destination faster; yet I am content to stay in one lane watching the signs to determine my location and keeping alert in my silent vehicle. I don’t like distractions if I don’t know where I am going.
If we should be separated—say I get a red light and he’s already through—many cars can come between us. I might feel a bit edgy as I scan the road for him.
Our faith walks can be like this. We have all heard that we need to stay focused on Jesus. If we keep our eye on Him, we won’t stumble off the narrow path. However, this piece of advice isn’t as simple as it appears because of the distractions.
Life isn’t silent, especially in stressful situations. If something blocks our field of vision, we might not notice right away or if we do, we may get panicky, which only heightens the racing fear. We might even get irritated. Our inner turmoil becomes a big distraction then.
Following my husband can be irritating when I think he’s forgotten I’m even behind. I think he should consider who I am, and taking that into account, moderate his zipping through traffic passions. If he notices I’ve lagged behind, he will pull over and wait. I appreciate that consideration. In the moments that he is more confident in my abilities than I am, I may even get snappy.
If while following Jesus, we lose sight of Him, He will always have us in His rearview mirror. The Lord understands us better than anyone. If we lag behind, he’ll wait or come back to find us, walk beside us, and encourage us to continue on. If we stumble off the path, he’ll find ways to nudge us back on. Yet we may forget these truths and get fearful, anxious, irritated, or angry. It isn’t anything that He has done. It’s all in our perspective.
Whenever we lose sight of Jesus, forget that He’s got this—whatever this is at the moment—we believe He has lost sight of us. That isn’t true. He always knows where we are.
So even if we get lost, we can stay calm. We can quiet ourselves, pray, seek His face, seek His direction, and listen. He knows our abilities. He may be stretching us so we can grow for the next big trip. And if we can stop the panic rising, we can look ahead and see that He is just up ahead patiently waiting for us.
Keeping my eye on my husband brings a sort of peace because even though I may exasperate him, he isn’t going to desert me; just as keeping my eye on Jesus brings peace as I journey through life because he’s not going to abandon me either. He has promised nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:35-39). My husband hasn’t lost me yet, and we always arrive safely at our destination even with detours. Since Jesus knows all, He isn’t going to leave me behind either. Sometimes stretching hurts a little on both sides, but we try to stay with the same goal. We are on the same team, after all.
Do you like following another in traffic? What habits have you developed for staying focused?