I often listen to a Christian radio station that broadcasts from a large metro area. Every hour they give traffic updates. They’ve introduced me to the term “gawker delay.” A gawker delay occurs when traffic slows at the scene of an accident, not so much because of the accident itself but because people slow to gawk at the accident while passing.
Why is it so hard to pull our eyes from things we shouldn’t need to see?
My husband, who is a registered nurse, took care of a patient from England earlier this summer. He told this patient of the love he and I have for BBC mysteries and dramas. They had fun recounting some of their favorites, and then she asked if he had seen another series, one that’s the rage in Britain now. We had not.
And so my latest obsession began. My husband can watch an hour or two and go on his way, but I’ve been pulled in. I can’t justify just sitting and watching TV, but I can find reasons and ways to make it work.
I cleaned my basement living room top to bottom: scrubbed the ceiling, the walls, and floors while rewatching episodes. I played episodes from my laptop while scrubbing my shower and hallway. I used all my monthly data streaming episodes from my phone while weeding my flower beds.
Typically while I clean and weed, I listen to sermons and teachings from my favorite Christian programs. I immerse myself in prayer or worship music. While this BBC show has some noble characteristics, secular themes abound. And I’ve been here so many times before. What begins decently enough loses moral ground. But like a gawker, I’m still watching. It’s so easy for Satan to seep into our souls.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . .
When traffic is backed up for miles, it’s easy to see trouble ahead. But when the house is clean and the yard is weeded, it’s a little harder to see a problem. Spiritual backslides rear their ugly heads one way or another: if not in rebellious or insolent attitudes than in unholy thoughts, less than stellar actions, and missed opportunities.
The army of evil is brilliant at getting us to look at shiny objects, but I don’t want to get stuck in a gawker delay. I want to see things for what they are and fix my eyes on what is good and pure and holy and true.
Dear Lord, help me to do so.
Amber Albee Swenson has authored four books, writes an occasional devotional blog, and is a regular contributor to several Christian organizations. In 2011 she started speaking to women with the intent of bringing the Bible to life in tangible, applicable ways.
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