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"Distracted Running & Walking" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

I was driving the other day near Prien Lake Park here in Lake Charles. A jogger wearing headphones was coming my way. She was also texting as she was running. Something must have startled her about what she was reading because she quickly strayed in front of my vehicle. I was able to hit my brakes and avoid a tragedy.

According to ABC News, “Distracted walkers take longer to cross the street and are more likely to ignore traffic lights or neglect to look both ways. Interestingly, distracted walkers are more likely to use crosswalks, perhaps trying to offset their risky behavior. The problem is particularly prevalent among teens, who tend to believe it’s okay to cross the street while texting or tweeting.” (, August 10, 2015)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed that emergency room visits involving distracted pedestrians using cellphones were up 124% in 2014 from 2010, and up 10 times from 2006. (Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2016, page D1)

Distracted walking or running, obviously, is quite dangerous. But have you ever thought about this? Distractions in our lives are dangerous for us spiritually.

Scripture encourages us to “be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) To be still.

Maybe today for just a few minutes we can put aside all the distractions and be focused on what really counts: our faith, our family, our community. Maybe today we can focus on our Creator and hear that still, quiet voice that whispers to us a word of hope and encouragement.

Be wary of distracted walking. Be wary of distracted running. Be especially wary of distracted living.

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