Attractive Distractions!


I’ve only had one at fault accident during all my years of driving.  My record would be perfect, if not for an “attractive distraction” that led to my only accident. It was the month of May, just before I turned 19. I had finished my shift at a local gas station and was on my way home. I was sitting at a stoplight, the second in line.  It was a clear day and I had the windows down and the music blaring. The light turned green and I watched as the car in front of me started across the intersection. I stepped on the accelerator to go when out of the corner of my left eye I spied a comely young woman walking down the sidewalk. I gave a quick glance her direction. When my eyes came back to the road I saw that the car in front of me had unexpectedly come to a halt. Too late! I slammed on the brakes of the sporty Chevy Vega I was driving, but to no avail. I crunched into the back-end of the vehicle and saw steam starting to escape from under my hood. It was a mess! I hadn’t been going too fast, but fast enough to do severe damage to my sturdy plastic car. There wasn’t much damage to the other car, which appeared to be made of iron. The other driver was polite and even drove me home. I remember thinking to myself that I couldn’t believe how little it took to have an accident. Just a quick look to the side, a small, “attractive distraction”, and I had wreaked the car.

President Uchdorf spoke on a similar subject in General Conference a few years ago when he told the story of the airliner that crashed into the Florida Everglades when one small light bulb, which indicated that the landing gear was down, was burned out. The crew didn’t land and started to look for the problem, not knowing that it was just a bulb. Being distracted they didn’t realize that they were descending closer and closer to the swamp. They crashed, killing all aboard. Then President Uchdorf said this:

“Of course, the malfunctioning light bulb didn’t cause the accident; it happened because the crew placed its focus on something that seemed to matter at the moment while losing sight of what mattered most. The tendency to focus on the insignificant at the expense of the profound happens not only to pilots but to everyone. We are all at risk. The driver who focuses on the road has a far greater chance of arriving at his destination accident free than the driver who focuses on sending text messages on his phone…It is easy to become distracted—to become focused on one burned-out light bulb or the impolite acts of unkind people, whatever their motive may be. But think of the power we would have as individuals and as a body of the priesthood if, in response to every temptation to lose focus or lower our standards—the standards of God, we responded, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down,” Ensign, May 2009, 59–62).

It is easy to get distracted by wordly things. As we head down the highway of life we must keep our eyes focused on the path mapped out by our Lord and Savior. We need not look left or right at the enticing sites along the way. In so doing we might jeopardize our spiritual health and that of our families.

Today’s “attractive distractions” come in all varieties. They seem to scream out for our attention! They are dressed attractively, even alluring. Over the years I have seen these “attractive distractions”, ruin marriages, homes and families. Like automobiles, our lives can also be repaired, but often at a high cost to us and our families. Let us stay focused as we travel down the road of life and not let ‘attractive distractions’ make a wreak of our lives.


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