|Image by Kristin Nador via Flickr/Creative Commons|
I was late because I missed my exit. I've been driving to this church nearly every Sunday morning for over three years and I missed my freaking exit. I missed my exit because I was lost in thought. Usually on Sunday mornings I change my radio dial from my local NPR station and tune into the local contemporary Christian station so that I can prepare my heart and mind for worship. Yesterday, though my radio was tuned to God music, my mind was not tuned to God thoughts. I was busy thinking about my latest writing project, so much so that I missed my exit.
As I was yelling "Are you kidding me?!" at my dashboard as if it were going to somehow give me back those lost minutes a voice inside me calmly said, "If you aren't focused on me you're going to go the wrong way."
And with that God basically punched me in the gut. I fought back tears because I obviously would have no time to reapply my mascara in the parking lot. I yelled (to the dashboard again): "OK, God. I get it. We'll discuss this more later."
For those of you who don't know, my church is ginormous. We have four Sunday services and additional campuses all across the state to accommodate about 23,000 weekly attendees. In other words, if you arrive late the chances you're going to find a seat up front are about as good as God speaking to you via a burning bush. But I guess I need to be on the lookout for flaming foliage because as I was searching around for a spot an usher came to me and said, "There's room for one up front." I landed a spot on the second row.
I'd never sat up front before because I never wanted to bother with the hunt such a seat requires and I never understood why some of my pals made such a big deal over it. But yesterday both worship and the message seemed better than ever! And I think I know why. The service wasn't necessarily any more awesome than it usually is; I was just paying better attention. I admit that I am very easily distracted ALL THE TIME, even at church. I'll be in the middle of singing about God's holy name when someone walks in with a gorgeous bag and I'm suddenly praising the name of Kate Spade instead of Jesus Christ.
At the end of the service that little voice that nearly ruined my makeup in the car had something else to say: "The closer you are to me, the less distracted you will be."
I thought we agreed to talk about this later.
OK. OK. I really, really get it. I've been so focused on my goals that I've been ignoring my God, even though I fooled myself into thinking I was putting God first because I was constantly praying about my dreams.
But at the end of the day, I have to love God more than I love my dream.