A vital life skill is keeping a good grasp on what is most important. Psychologists call this ability “situation awareness.” It has three levels. At level one, we sense many things but only some are important, so we learn to filter out the things that matter more than other things. Level two integrates these important things into a meaningful pattern. Level three involves taking action in the future.
Think about driving a car. You notice the speed you are traveling, an important road sign, and the time of day. You filter out the song on the radio and the car parked in a driveway. That’s level one. At level two, you put the pattern together— you’re traveling too fast, a school zone is ahead, and it's 8:30 in the morning. Level three: You touch your brakes to slow down because a child could accidentally run onto the road.
A serious illness some years ago changed my personal situation awareness. Now when I wake in the morning, I have three thoughts. Level one: I’m alive and breathing God’s good air. Level two: Jesus has forgiven all my sins, and I’m going to heaven. Level three: God has things for me to do today.
It almost seems too simple, but it’s not. It’s a vital life skill. As Paul said, “I passed on to you what was most important. . . Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.” That’s situation awareness of the best kind.
What’s most important to you today?
Father, let me daily practice situation awareness when it comes to your will and blessings in my life. Guide me and teach me to have an attitude of gratitude as I live to serve you. Amen.
Go Deeper — Write out a situation awareness summary with all the three levels for yourself. Practice it.
Photo Credit: Cytonn Photography