My friend Julie and I always have good conversations. Challenging conversations. This morning, in particular.
We’ve been friends for several years. We first met on a camping trip in Telluride (a.k.a. Best camping trip. EVER.) a couple summers ago. Since then, we’ve attended the same church and have a lot of mutual friends so it was easy to become friends.
A few months ago she started working at Compassion. Shortly after that we decided to carpool to work to save gas money, slow down the wear and tear on our cars, and do our part to cut back on the traffic congestion. So now we make the 15 mile commute together nearly every day.
I’ve discovered that I’m a big fan of carpooling. It helps me be more disciplined with my schedule. For an extrovert like me, it’s nice to have the company. It allows for some quality talk time. (Also, Julie has a 4WD which is far better than my little Mazda in bad weather. Plus she has seat warmers, which I love. Totally getting those in the next car I buy.) But I digress.
So anyway, we talk a lot. Our conversations range from the trivial, typical girl talk of Hollywood and makeup, to the deep … things like pain, faith and death.
This morning was one of those deep talks. We are in similar places in life and so we are struggling with some of the same issues. One thing in particular. We decided recently that since we have this regular time together, and we are both dealing with the same thing, we would try to hold each other accountable in this area. So this “issue” has become a pretty regular topic of conversation.
We talked today about how sometimes, in trying to avoid something, we actually end up more focused on it than if we had just ignored it all together. In putting so much effort into staying away from something, we end up completely mired in it. Obsessed with avoiding it, we instead find ourselves obsessed with the thing itself. Does this make sense? Let me give you an example.
It’s kind of like when I’m riding my bike and I see a rock on the path in front of me. If I focus on trying NOT to hit the rock, I always end up steering my bike straight toward it. No matter how hard I try not to. Or when I’m driving my car. When I see a pothole in the road, if I concentrate on the pothole – even though I’m trying NOT to hit it – I usually do.
I think sin is like this. Sometimes, if Satan can’t get us to sin outright, he actually uses our own efforts to “avoid” it to mess us up. He’s twisted like that.
So there’s a fine line, I think, between Godly vigilance about something and obsession with it. I’m slowly learning the difference.
What do you think? Have you had a similar experience?