Cruise Control

Rich Dixon challenges me in a number of ways. With today’s post, and with a link to a story about Jim Walmsley, who ran 100km (62 miles) over the weekend in 6:09:26. It was 12 seconds short of the world record. It was 18 minutes faster than the previous American record. It was an amazing run. I don’t think Rich is expecting me to try for goal. But I think he’s offering the opportunity for you and me to reconsider what we are doing.


I’m a fan of cruise control.

On long drives (remember those?) I like to choose a nice, legal speed and let the computer take over. My current vehicle even slows if needed to maintain safe intervals.

A message this weekend reminded me that I depend a bit too much on cruise control in other areas of life. My default seems to be set it and forget it.

That’s okay for some things. Routines and habits help us accomplish daily tasks. Reinventing the wheel every day wouldn’t be an efficient way to move through life.

But cruise control is also an excuse to divert my attention as the miles fade away. So I set it and forget it as a way to drift through days and escape my responsibility to notice and act on injustice.

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A popular quote says, “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

If I’m honest, one of my cruise control settings is cursing the darkness. It’s easy for me to slide into complaining about all the bad stuff, to forget that Jesus asked me to be about light-shining and candle-lighting.

At President Biden’s inauguration, Amanda Gorman – America’s National Youth Poet Laureate – recited her remarkable poem “The Hill We Climb.” She concluded with these stunning lines:

For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

I follow Jesus. I absolutely believe in the light.

Today I’m reminding myself of my responsibility to turn off the cruise control, to complain less and be a bit more aware of the journey and the light.

And I’m talking to Jesus about courage, because “being the light,” confronting the darkness of injustice, is hard and scary.

It’s easier to set it and forget it.

Easier isn’t the point. Right?