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Are you Parked at a Green Light? How Distraction Robs you of Opportunity
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine shared an experience that really got me thinking and evaluating my life. He was driving home from work and was stopped at a traffic light waiting to turn left. As his eyes drifted around, he saw in his rearview mirror, a large truck barreling towards a sedan that was also stopped at an adjacent light. The truck driver did not appear to realize the vehicle was stationary and had to maneuver precariously at the last minute to avoid rear-ending the car.
My friend looked around frantically to see whether the truck driver had been suffering some kind of emergency and then turned to see if the driver of the sedan was alright. Everyone appeared to be alright. But something else caught his eye that explained exactly what had happened. The driver of the sedan was looking down at his cell phone. The light in front of him had turned green without him noticing. The truck driver saw a green light from afar and assumed the sedan was going to move. What was more shocking was the fact that the driver of the sedan had no idea what had just happened and how close he had been to the brink of disaster. He finally raised his head up and took off on his merry way.
When I heard the story, I began to draw parallels between that experience and my own life. Like the driver of the sedan, I have, at various times in my life, been distracted, not only at traffic lights but also by people, experiences, and things that had no lasting value. Do you feel the same way about your life? The distractions we allow in our lives may put our physical well-being in potential jeopardy. However, distractions more often than not prevent us from seeing the green lights that life offers to us.
What green lights have you missed because you were distracted? What opportunities have passed you by because you were too busy looking down at your phone? What people have you failed to meet because you were too focused on the shiny object right in front of you rather than the beautiful horizon that has been freely laid before you.
My friend likened the car in the story to each one of us in this world. The gas in the car represents our potential. The road represents the path we need to take to get to our desired destination. The traffic light represents the trials and opportunities life throws our way. Sometimes the light is red and requires us to stop progressing for a season. Sometimes it is yellow, telling us to slow down and prepare to stop. But sooner or later, we get a green light that tells us to charge ahead. The question is not whether a green light will ever come. It is whether we will be prepared to move forward when it does.
Please take a moment to evaluate your life right now. Identify and write down 3 distractions that may have kept you from seeing the green lights that have come your way. Ask a few friends or loved ones to tell you what they believe are distractions in your life. Compile the list and write down one thing you will do each week to eliminate one or more of those distractions.