Have you ever set out to drive one place, maybe a place that’s near where you work or live, a place you go all the time, only to look up and realize you’re in your office parking lot or your driveway at home, instead of where you were supposed to be?
When I visit my parents, there’s this one road that I cannot take to go anywhere because as soon as I hit that road, I am taken back to high school-aged me, driving to school each morning. That road was the fastest route to the interstate, and the interstate only took me to school. So the habit formed that I got on that road to go to school and that’s it.
My grandmother happened to live on that road for a little while a few years ago and one weekend when I visiting home, I decided I’d pick her up on Sunday morning, we’d go to my favorite donut shop and enjoy some breakfast before going to church. I made it to her house on time, she got in my car and we took off.
Before I knew it, we were on the interstate … headed to my school. Not to the donut shop and not to church. And it wasn’t until I was merging onto the interstate and my grandmother asked where we were going that I realized I had just switched on autopilot and we weren’t headed to where I wanted to go. Of course, then we were on the interstate so we had to just keep going until the next exit where we could get off and head back the way we had just come.
(Unfortunately, we did not have time to get donuts after that.)
Consuming and transformative
Sometimes I feel like I’m just going through life on an autopilot — stuck even in a “good” routine of going to church, reading my Bible, attending a Bible study group, but then moving on without it impacting how I live.
Routines can be good, or at least filled with good things. But there have been several periods of my life that I’ve realized looking back were filled with routines of me attending church, checking off a list when I read my Bible, etc., but I wasn’t giving much care to changing my life daily.
God’s word is transformative. It does me no good to simply listen to or read that Word on autopilot without really taking anything in. Instead, I’m now praying to let it consume, work in and transform my life each day.