Cruise control can also cause a driver to lose focus on his driving. Not having to pay attention to my speed gives my mind space to wander off - and often it for gets to come back.Have you ever experienced the phenomenon of realizing where you were along your journey but not remembering passing certain landmarks? Scary stuff. When the car is set on cruise, drivers often drift away and fail to give proper attention to the task at hand.
And unfortunately, sometimes we Christians put our lives on “cruise control.” We learn rote prayers for just about every occasion and become comfortable praying them at the drop of a hat without ever giving careful thought to the words we are saying or the meaning of those words. We learn our Christian vocabulary early and we easily talk about “fellowship,” “accountability,” “committees,” not to mention all the abbreviated things like VBS, WMU, RAs and GAs. We know the answers to all the questions and all the right things to say at all the right times. We sing hymns in church with lyrics so familiar that we can actually sing them while going over our to-do list in our head.
We get up in the morning and read our Bible so that we can check off that duty, giving little thought to the meaning of the passage, much less its application for our life that day. We pray a sweet little “bless me” prayer and cruise on about our day happy that we have engaged in our “spiritual disciplines.”
We attend committee meetings and discuss “business,” making decisions without taking the time to seek God’s counsel – except for Brother Joe’s recited prayer before the meeting asking God to be “with us.” We vote in church congregational meetings about the things WE think we ought to do rather than what we believe God to be saying we should do - God is never consulted.
We show up for the classes we lead (late of course) ill prepared, thankful when some class member takes up much of the time sharing prayer requests or chasing a “theological rabbit” so that our lack of preparation is hidden when we finally have to announce to the class “oh, looks like we are out of time. Our discussion was so good today, even though we never got to the lesson.”
We take all too lightly our commitments to the ministries we sign up for, showing up late, or forgetting all together. We get angry that the preacher isn’t at every meeting every night of the week, yet we excuse ourselves because “we are almost burned out and needed the rest,” or “we had family/company and couldn’t get away.” Living our Christian life on cruise control is an offense to the cross of Christ.Did Jesus sacrifice His life so I could just cruise through life? Did Jesus redeem me for a life of service to Him or for a life of convenience for me? Consider Colossians 3:23:
“Whatever you do, work at with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Emphasis added)
Time for some self-evaluation. Think about your life over the last few months. Have you given God all of your heart? Have you poured yourself completely into all you have done, or have you just taxied through on cruise control?
Let me challenge you with something. STRETCH!
Read your Bible and learn something new . . . or at least apply something fresh and current to
Pray a new prayer. In fact, let me suggest 2 little practices for you. First, pray Scripture back to God. As you read a Psalm, use the words of that Psalm to ask God to make its truth a reality in your life. As you read and apply a Bible passage, find a way to use the very words of that passage as a prayer to God for you and for others. Second practice: pray out loud – even when you are alone. This works for two reasons, first of all, you will have to think more about what you are saying of you have to hear it; and second, praying aloud lets you hear how you sound.
Recommit yourself to the service you render to God – the classes you teach, the committees you serve, the choir you sing in, the people you serve . . . GIVE GOD
ALL YOU HAVE. Get off cruise control and put the petal to the metal and hammer down!