Rubbernecking After the World!

We have all done it at least once in our lives. You know, rubbernecking! We are driving along the highway and there is some accident ahead, or someone is in trouble with the law. As we come close to the scene we slow way down, sometimes to a crawl. We look! We look again! We look still again, this time we stretch our necks ever so high in hopes of a glimpse of the “scene.” It seems that our necks are made of rubber as we desperately stretch to see what “all the excitement” is about. This rubbernecking is not harmless because, at a minimum, people are delayed in arriving at their destinations. At its worst; another accident can be caused by inattentive drivers. I’m sure you have been in traffic jams where the accident is on the opposite side of a divided highway. The traffic jam on your side is not caused by the accident, but by “rubberneckers.” This causes delays and problems long after the scene of the accident has been cleared.

The highway of our life is no different from the highways we travel on everyday. Except that the highway of life’s destination is the Celestial Kingdom, not work, church or some event. We are told that the Lord’s “paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel.” ( 2 Nephi 9:41). I think we all desire to arrive at the gate of heaven and be judged by its keeper “the Lord God.” But many a person has been distracted by the “excitement” along the roadside. They have “rubbernecked” themselves into trouble. One such tragic individual was David. Chosen of God, he found himself “rubbernecking” one night. “And it came to pass in an evening-tide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon” (2 Samuel 11:1–2).

A few years ago Whitney Clayton spoke of David. He said:

Do you see how David got caught in this trap? He was on a rooftop courtyard of his palace, and looking below in a neighboring yard, he saw something he never should have seen. That was the adversary’s bait. Modesty, chastity, and good judgment required that David turn away immediately and not watch, but he didn’t do either thing. Instead, he allowed his mind to turn to forbidden fantasies, those thoughts led to actions, and things quickly spiraled downward from bad to worse to fatal. David was trapped, and for him the consequences were eternal. (“Blessed Are All the Pure in Heart”).

David’s life journey took a major detour because of his “rubbernecking!” He didn’t just get delayed on his journey: he had a major car accident. It is so tempting to “rubberneck” with the things of the world. Just a peek, just slowing down to glance at the enticing of man-made things. If we do so, we might find ourselves “seeing something we should never see.”
Let us keep our eyes on the road with our destination being that of eternal life with our Father. Resist the temptation to “rubberneck” after the world. It could cause a delay in our eternal arrival. Or, worse yet, like David, the consequences could bring about the total wreck of our lives.

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