Beware the Auto-Pilot

I was excited for this particular dinner I was planning. This particular dinner. I confess that planning meals whip up my anxiety, because I tend to go with quick and easy meals. Planning meals comes with so many “what ifs” Will the kids eat it? Will it re-heat well? Will there be enough time between dance class, basketball practice and church? Not only was this meal different and was sure to break our dinnertime rut, it was going to provide lunches for my husband and the leftovers would lead to another meal for the week. Unfortunately, I prepared it, stuck it in the oven and 40 minutes later I realized that I hadn’t even pre-heated the oven. Beware the auto-pilot.

Auto-pilot makes us forget what we have. I have a musical background. I love to sing, but one day during Sunday morning worship, I realized that I wasn’t even thinking about the notes and I wasn’t really trying to express musicality. I know that a joyful noise to the Lord pleases Him no matter what, but it was as if I was singing with a mental monotone voice, like when I’m reading a book. A subtle joy, maybe, but if I am so distracted, that the ” thanksgiving” I offer resembles more of an “Ok, I suppose I am happy,” really, it is disguising a luke-warm heart. Doesn’t our Lord deserve better? At least enough attention to focus on the beauty that is musical worship?

My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!
Psalms 108:1 NLT

For the despondant, every day brings trouble; for a happy heart, life is a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15

Make a joyful noise into the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing Psalms 100: 1-2 KJV

I realized that I stopped singing at bedtime also. Singing was the norm when my children were babies, whether it was to calm them down, or just to smile at them while having a song in my heart. I looked into my son’s 5-year-old face, and it was like gazing at a young man. How had all this time gone by? I sang at bedtime for the first time in months. I could see the surprise in my children’s eyes as I sang. I was deviating from the routine that auto-pilot fixed into reality, night after night after night. Becky looked at me like it was Christmas morning and sang back to me. In that moment I knew that I was a slave to hurrying through the day and I vowed (at least for the present week) to continue the loving gesture that is the “Good Night Song”. We are meant to use our gifts and have joy in our gifts. Beware the Auto-Pilot that keeps you distracted. Every day we may be moving forward, which is good, and can be admirable if our daily duties are difficult, but the auto-pilot has the power to make us resemble a cyborg; bereft of emotion and staying the course without realizing the therapy that we need. Analysis, Mr. Data: I let my guard down and forgot how powerful and important music is to my life. I forgot what worship means. I forgot about an amazing God whose love lasts further than the farthest galaxies.

He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zepheniah 3:17. NLT

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; celebrate his lovely name with music. Psalms 135:3 NLT

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