So today I was out for a run, and was just jogging along and had turned off the country road where I begin my route. I was just chugging along on the sidewalk, coming up to the main part of town where there are several homes and businesses along the busy street. I’d been coming up this stretch of the main street for a while now, at least 4 or 5 minutes, when all of a sudden I was startled by movement right in front of me. It was a man, another runner, coming right toward me and passing on my right. I was actually so startled by him that I literally yelled out loud in surprise (okay, it was more like I yelped out loud like one of those yappy little dogs no one can stand.) I probably scared that poor dude to death, but it freaked me out. Not only was that guy running right toward me and I didn’t even notice him until he was about 3 feet in front of my face, but there was another guy about 6 feet away on my other side talking on his cell phone right outside of one of the businesses I was about to run by. Here I was running right toward two big strangers and had no clue until they were RIGHT there.
Now don’t get me wrong. I was running in broad daylight around noon, and I was on the busiest street in my town. I wasn’t in any particular danger, nor did these men seem like shady fellas. My point is that, although I tend to be pretty aware of my surroundings and even run with a good posture, my eyes were obviously not focused ahead of me like they should have been. I don’t even know where the heck I was looking, but I didn’t have my eyes forward, and because of it, I could have run into a difficult or even dangerous situation. What if I had tripped on something and gotten hurt? What if that wasn’t in the middle of the day…then I could have been in a tough spot. What if one of those men was a shady character and took advantage of the fact that I was oblivious? What if that had been a car coming at me instead of a person?? Lots of What Ifs ran through my mind about the fact that although I was plugging right along in my routine, seemingly doing everything just fine, I was not paying close attention to my situation, and therefore almost got myself in trouble.
Ain’t that like life?
How many times have we just been going through the motions of life, thinking that we’re just muddling along in our routines without anything to worry about, then all of a sudden we are blindsided by something that was right there in front of us? Maybe there was no real reason to be afraid, but we get too comfortable and stop paying attention to the things right in front of us…then before we know it, we’re shaken. We’re startled, and we stumble. Or we are going through the motions and we are missing things that could potentially be good in front of our eyes, and once we notice them, they’re already gone.
I want to keep my eyes focused on what’s around me. It’s great to have goals and in some cases even routines. But I don’t want to miss the things right in front of me…those things that could cause me to trip up, or the things that I need to see that could otherwise run right past me.