"See That You Walk Carefully"

According to recent reports, hospital emergency rooms are seeing a dramatic rise in the number of injuries caused by “distracted walking.” Pedestrians with their eyes fixed on the screens of their smart phones or tablets are falling down stairs, tripping over curbs, and stepping into the path of oncoming traffic. These mishaps have become frequent enough that the National Safety Council now has a “distracted walking” category in its annual injury report. And sometimes more than injury results: the percentage of people killed in distracted walking accidents, while still very small, has more than tripled in the last decade.

In our spiritual walk, too, there are all kinds of distractions that can draw away our attention. Everywhere in our daily interactions there are temptations to envy, strife, greed, laziness, arrogance, lust, malice, and much more. Often they pop up on the wayside as glittering signs promising the way to the easier, more comfortable, more pleasurable road. We may encounter them unexpectedly and struggle not to be dazzled by them. They can take our eyes off of the path and cause us to stumble and fall.

Even life’s everyday pursuits can be possible distractions: work, recreation, music, politics, education, art, sports, investments, hobbies, community service clubs. They are not bad things. Many are necessary things. But each has the potential to absorb all our attention and distract us from our walk and our identity as God’s people. If we aren’t careful, things that should be appreciated as blessings from God can turn into our gods. If we aren’t careful, we can become so busy with so many things and be pulled in so many directions that we forget who we are and where we are going. It may be that we need to say no to more things in order to keep from being distracted.

 “Keep sound wisdom and discretion…Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble” (Proverbs 3:21-23). “See then that you walk carefully, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). In a world filled with distractions, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).