Thursday, August 13, 2015

Staying Alert

(This part written on Wednesday,)

Good morning! I'll be headed out the door of my parents' condo in a few minutes. It's just after 5 AM and I can hear birds singing.


Now it's almost 10 (still on Wednesday). I've driven my "morning work" on the 664 (Hopkins & St. Louis Park to downtown Minneapolis) and have been back at mom & dad's place since about 8:30. When I get off my morning work I try to get a good rest in. That's needed when I'm getting up at 4:45 each day. I've been getting 6 hours of solid sleep or less each night since I started this job and I'm one who needs more.

This morning, for the first time, I got the yawns a bit as I was driving the bus. (Just a yawn or two. I wasn't in danger of nodding off!) I've noticed a big change this week in how I'm handling my work. The new job jitters are over! That's a good thing, but as I mentioned that to more experienced drivers they have said there's a danger that comes with confidence too.

Up until now the the adrenaline rush -- plus the excellent training we've all had --  has kept me in extreme alert mode. I think there'll need to be a more conscious focus now on things like "The Five Safety Keys" -- plus I'll just need to make sure I'm well rested each day. (See video at the bottom of this post.)

Beginning August 24 I'll be driving different routes. I think switching routes is a part of keeping us alert too.


Now it's Thursday. Mom and dad are wanting me to go out to lunch with them. I'll do that, not because I want to take the time to do that, but because it's a part of honoring them as my father and mother. I think somewhere there's a word from God about that. ;-)

When I got up both yesterday and today, I was looking for something that would alert me to the move of the Holy Spirit. As I often do, I turned to Oswald Chambers devotion.

The one for today is specifically about not "quenching the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The Holy Spirit is God's agent of alertness, keeping us awake to the purposes of God. "Quenching" or putting our the flame of God's Spirit is something that happens -- especially on ordinary days.

In O.C.'s devotion for today, he says "suppose God brings you to a crisis..." The adrenaline rush I've felt since taking this new job have been a sign of crisis. Yesterday O.C. said this:
God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are the ones who are reliable. Yet our trust is only in God up to a certain point, then we turn back to the elementary panic-stricken prayers of those people who do not even know God.
The Lord has indeed taught me to be confident in crisis, and I'm so thankful for that. But now that there's a sense of ordinary-ness, I'll need to stay on my toes so I don't "quench the Spirit" who continues to speak and guide.

There is a particular spiritual danger of being comfortable. When we are comfortable it can be like we are driving along without being fully alert. Truth is, God is constantly giving us specific direction for our lives. But sometimes ordinary-ness take over. This happened to me a few years ago when I wasn't alert and caused a crash.

So I need this reminder now so that I stay alert -- not only in driving, but also alert to God's Spirit. When I seek the kingdom and keep my spiritual eyes and ears open to what God is saying, he'll keep me open to new learning and fresh in prayer. That way I'll be more likely to gladly let the Lord correct and lead me -- even in ways that seem to be not "natural" for us humanly speaking.

Time to go. Sorry if this seems disorganized. Maybe I'll fix it later. (And I did do some editing just now, at 2:00.)

The following video on The Smith System of Accident Free Driving is from 1956 - produced by the Ford Motor Company. It's found at

As I consider the "Smith System" driving keys and compare them to the ways of God, I can see how at least the first four have spiritual application.

  1. Aim High - Seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness!
  2. Get the Big Picture - The Kingdom of God is bigger than you!
  3. Keep your eyes moving - Don't get too focused on yourself or what is close at hand or immediately present - and notice what's going on with others both near and far.
  4. Leave yourself an out - We can get trapped and weighed down or by personal possessions and ambitions. Remember God may call you to let them go.
  5. Make sure they see you. This one isn't as easily applicable as the others -- except that it certainly is possible that those who carry God's Word can be too silent and too hidden. The prophets in the scripture did things that called attention to the message. They didn't live in obscurity all the time.

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