Drive-Thru the Distraction!

A friend of mine became increasingly annoyed with the vehicle in front of hers at a fast food drive-thru. The occupant apparently was ordering everything on the menu. After several minutes, my friend became irritated. She started talking to herself about this person, waving her arms, honking her horn—the whole works—but to no avail. Finally she realized that she had pulled into a slot adjacent to the drive-thru lane, and was stationed behind a parked car the whole time.

She was basically in the right vicinity, but not on course! She was definitely on restaurant property, but nowhere near where she could make her transaction. I love this story because it makes me laugh (first of all!), but it also makes me think: There’s no telling how many times I’ve been in the right place at the right time, but totally missed it because I wasn’t paying attention!

Just yesterday, my husband told me he ordered lunch at a McDonald’s drive-thru, paid for it at the next window, and then proceeded to drive off into the sunset, never stopping at the next window to pick up his meal! It wasn’t until he was on the main road that he realized he forgot to pick up his order. He pulled back around to the parking lot, got out of the car and went inside. Sure enough, his order sat “in waiting.” From what I understand, this happens quite frequently. We later told our daughter about her dad’s escapade that day and she responded, “Oh goodness, dad—you’re acting more like mom all the time!” (Ah, well. Thanks!)

Distractions. They come in all forms! A worship leader announced to the congregation as he opened the service, “Let’s stand, sing, and worship the words on the Power Point together.” And even better, he later said, “Stand up and praise me with Him.”

I’m sure he had no idea what he said, but it’s hard for me not to stop and at least think about these two blunders for a minute. I wonder, in our technological savvy-ness—rushing to get all the words in, and even programming or rehearsing our intros down to the second—if all this has caused so much distraction that we don’t exactly think before we speak.

Amend the inattention:

1. A recent study has found that cell phones and smart phones—whether you’re talking or texting—cause great distraction. Limit your use, especially when and where your full attention is required.
2. If you’re asked to speak or make an announcement or comment during a worship service or event, pause, take a breath, and think. Rushing your speech like you’re in a drive-thru lane usually ends in some sort of spoonerism!
3. Practice being fully present, not thinking about anything but where you are and what you’re doing. Your chances of speeding by the drive-thru pickup window will greatly diminish.

“Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you” (Proverbs 4:23, The Message).

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