Think back, way back to the time before smartphones. Before the era of interactive maps in your hand or on your dashboard, driving to unknown destinations could be a real adventure in terror if your sense of direction is as bad as mine! Often when people were traveling to the same place, they would follow each other. The whole key to success in this process was that the follower couldn’t take their eyes off the leader, lest they lose them in traffic. As a result, the follower often found themselves straining their neck to find the lead car around an 18-wheeler or desperately scanning lanes to attempt to get their friend’s car back in their sight.
As you can imagine, or may remember, those “lost” moments are terrifying: You literally have no idea where to go. Do you exit off the interstate? Do you turn right or left? You don’t have any idea. Your eyes left the person you’re following and now you’re lost, at least for a moment, until you put your eyes back on them. Within a few moments, you are safely behind them again and you experience a huge sense of relief. Often when you are reunited with the leader at your destination, you ask why they lost you. The answer was usually that they hadn’t — they could see you in their rear view mirror the whole time.
Recently, I took my eyes off the leader. I took my eyes off Jesus. For just a little while, my eyes were set on new job responsibilities and I soon felt lost. My prayer life suddenly felt forced and uninspired. I was having one-way communication with the Lord. I talked but didn’t feel anything coming back. I was going through the motions but that’s all they were, merely recitations that didn’t seem to have any impact on my heart. I prayed for holiness. I prayed for my meaningful prayer life to return. Then I hurried back to the other things that had my attention, and needless to say, my prayers weren’t being answered.
I finally knelt down in front of the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus Himself, and asked Him to help me feel connected to prayer, connected to Him. As I knelt there, I realized what the problem was. I realized I had taken my eyes off Jesus. I hadn’t been thinking about Him as my personal Savior and my personal Lord. I hadn’t been quiet enough to experience the two-way communication that we both. I hadn’t sat down and simply spent time with Him. I lost Jesus in traffic. And not surprisingly, I felt lost and didn’t know how to get back on the right path.
Fortunately, Jesus had His eyes on me the whole time. He knew where I was and He knew I wanted to go. He was waiting for me to realize I had taken my eyes off Him and as soon as I did, there He was. The key to successfully following Jesus and reaching our heavenly destination is the same key to successfully following a driver before GPS – don’t take your eyes off the one you’re following!
Copyright 2019 Michelle Jones Schroeder