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Cruise Control

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“Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.
Let all that you do be done in love.”
–1 Corinthians 16:13-14

In traveling by car to our Annual Conference in Green Bay this past week, once I got on the highway and got up to the speed limit, I set my car on cruise control. I thought I would settle in (keeping alert, of course) for the 2 ½ hour drive without a lot of interruptions…I was wrong!

A few minutes into my ‘cruising,’ it started to rain and traffic slowed down, so I took the car off cruise control. When the rain and the traffic let up a bit, I reset the cruise. Soon, I ran into construction and the speed limit was reduced and navigating the orange construction barrels required me to cancel the cruise control. Once past the several miles of construction, I reset the cruise. That lasted for about five minutes before more rain and heavy traffic required me to cancel the cruise again.

My on-again, off-again attempts at putting my car on cruise control reminded me a lot of everyday life. I often think if I just get this one big thing done, or check off enough things on my to-do list, or get through this season, I will be able to set the ‘cruise’ for a while and settle in. But, usually life keeps getting interrupted with one thing or another and it feels like turning the cruise control on and off.

That’s where the importance of daily spiritual disciplines become critical in helping us keep alert while standing firm, courageous and strong in our faith. When we spend time with God each day through some type of daily practice, whether it be devotional reading, prayer, study, worship or physical activity that is a spiritual discipline, we are better able to handle the starts and stops, fits and spurts and interruptions of daily life.

So, the next time you have the opportunity to set the cruise control in life, be ready to have your cruising interrupted. But then find your way back through the daily spiritual practices that will keep us alert to God’s loving presence and held strong in our faith.