This morning I got out to my car to head to morning Mass and found that my windshield had ice all over it. And I was already running five minutes late. Admittedly that isn’t that late for some folks, but for me it is extremely late. I knew the defrost wouldn’t warm up in time, so even though I didn’t have my gloves, I sucked it up and scraped the ice off. But I did a crappy job – there were still huge chunks of windshield that I couldn’t really see out of. Sure, I could have done a better job and been even later, or I could have just let the defroster finish up the job (which I did). I promptly got in my car, blasted the defrost and away I went.
As I drove and waited for the car and the defroster to warm up, I struggled to focus. [I’m a good driver, I promise, and no one was injured on my trek to Mass this morning. There is a point to this blog that, at this point, only seems to be about my laziness and crappy driving habits…I promise there is a point.] My focus constantly flashed back and forth between the icy parts of my windshield and the road that lay before me. The longer it took the ice at the top of my windshield to melt, the more obsessed I became with the ice. I’d flick the wipers on to no avail. I’d kick the defrost up a notch…to no avail. I just wanted that darn ice gone from my view! Eventually, the ice cleared and I could see and I made my way to Mass safe and sound.
Isn’t that how our life is? We wake up (literally or metaphorically) and find that we are late, we’ve missed something crucial, we missed out and we are running to catch up – and looking to cut corners so we can feel caught up in some sense. So, we choose not to fully clean our windsheilds, we hope someone or something will come along and do the work for us. We choose to not take the best care of our hearts in the hopes that somewhere along the way they will be taken care of. We get out on the road of life, however, and we are unfocused. We can’t drive to the best of our ability because our windshields, our hearts aren’t clear. We become focused more on what is in front of us (the ice) instead of the bigger picture (the road). We go back and forth between focusing on our hearts and the lives we are called to lead, and in turn we aren’t giving our all to either cause. We try to kick the defrost on high, we turn our wipers on to no avail and find we are still distracted.
Wake up. Wake up early. (Chances are, even if you wake up early you will still feel like you are late…wake up early anyway.) If I had woken up early this morning, even by only five minutes, and actually done a good job scraping my windshield, I probably would have been a less distracted driver this morning (though perhaps I would have missed this insight all together. Don’t skip things in hopes of finding insights – I’m not advocating that!). If we would wake up and take even five extra minutes a day to focus our hearts through prayer on God then we’d probably get through the day a whole heck of a lot less distracted. Instead of constantly focusing on the here and now we’d be able to see, in some small way, as God sees – the bigger picture. There is a time to focus on the here and now, but that doesn’t mean that we should always forsake the wonder of the forest for the tree right in front of us. If we awake and center ourselves in God I would be willing to bet that we would find it infinitely easier to focus more on the road and less on the icy windshield; more on the the bigger picture, the life God calls us to and less on our, often selfish needs of the moment. Instead of going back and forth between focusing on your heart and the tasks of your day, take an extra few minutes to truly focus on your heart and placing it in God’s hands and the tasks of the day become easier, purposeful even. Don’t depend on someone to come kick your metaphorical defrost on high because short of Jesus (who waits for YOU), that person may never come. Tomorrow, and every day after, let’s get up a few minutes early (or go to bed a few minutes later) and really clear off our windshields so that as we drive through life we may focus more on the road in front of us and follow it as it leads us to the heart of Jesus. AMEN.