I doubt that it has ever happened to you, but it happened to me (again) Wednesday morning around 6:00 a.m. It started as I tried to merge onto I-94 at 21-Mile. No-one wanted to let me in until I forced myself between two sedans that were traveling about 60 mph. Shortly thereafter the lane to my left was wide open, so I turned on my blinker and slid over. At the same moment another motorist, two vehicles back, jumped into the same lane and gunned it. Before I knew it, he was right on my tail. Fortunately, I decided to stay in the middle lane. He, on the other hand, jumped to the left again, and quickly raced past me.
A few miles later I found myself in the far-left lane, with traffic moving fast and smooth all around. Suddenly there is a white pickup looming huge in my rear-view mirror. He jumps between two cars on my right, races up to the rear-end of the front one, and then jumps in front of me. I glance down at my speedometer and discover I have accelerated to over 80 mph. I’ve been caught up in the crazy!
A couple hours later I am having a cup of coffee with a friend at Tim Horton’s. I don’t know how it started, but, at some point, we both notice that, instead of listening to each other, we are listening to a customer talking at the register. His voice gets louder and louder, and more agitated with every volume increase. Our conversation is suspended until a few moments after the customer has left the building. I had been caught up in the crazy again!
Then, something like 14 hours later, I am awakened by a phone call. It is the alarm company. The church’s alarm is going off and the police are on their way. I throw on some clothes, jump in my car, get on I-94 (without any difficulty this time) and meet the police in the parking lot. All is well – it looks like the wind opened an unlocked door. I do what I need to do, and an hour after the phone call I am back in bed. But for that hour in the middle of the night I was caught up again.
We live in a crazy world – which means we are surrounded by craziness all the time, and there is not much we can do about that (at least most of the time). The problem comes when we get caught up in it … we lose our focus … we forget who we are … we lose our God-given peace … we blend right in with the rest of the crazies! And, most often, we don’t even notice what’s happening until it’s too late.
Have you spent any time lately in our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)? At one point, Jesus says, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, do not be anxious … your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.” (Matthew 6.28-34)
What I hear him saying to me is, “Don’t get caught up in the crazy. There is already more than enough to go around. Instead, simply live in the peace I give and know that I will take care of the rest.”
Now, I know, that is easier said than done, yet, I find that the more I include a few minutes each day reading his word and listening to him, the more natural it becomes … and the more quickly I catch myself each time I get caught up. Somehow, Jesus seems to know what he is saying – “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6.33) Here’s to hoping you get caught up in this (and not the crazy) today!