Thursday, December 28, 2017

Landmines, Switchbacks, and Ice Patches

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!  Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. (Ephesians 5:16-17 MSG)
Have you ever navigated through some place where you had to really watch your step? There have been times when I have to navigate landmines in the yard of a friend that would have caused a pretty uncomfortable odor to follow me around if I had of step into them. I have had to watch very carefully while traversing switchback trails down into the Grand Canyon, all the while watching for erosion and lose rocks. I have also had to stay upright on very slippery icy patches while trying to stay focused on getting to the destination I had in mind. When we are "watching our steps" it is pretty hard to see what is around us, though. We miss some of the beauty we all desire to take in along our journey all because our focus is at foot level!
Equally important is this idea of not living carelessly - we must take consideration of our steps - it isn't an option. Yet, we don't want to be consumed at "foot level" with each step we take - because we will miss much of what God has provided for our enjoyment if we do. So, how do we get balance here? We need to be concerned with our steps, but we also need to enjoy the journey, and we know the journey can be riddled with some pretty "messy", "treacherous", and "slippery" stuff. Have you ever thought God may just want to help us plant our feet and guide our path? When we finally get our focus off our feet, we might just see how well he has prepared that path!
Yep, life deals us some messy stuff sometimes and we'd do well to navigate around it rather than stepping right smack-dab into the middle of it. If we do step into it, we will know right away what a foul "odor" that missed-step leads to in our lives - and it is sometimes "lingers" a lot longer than we might desire. God can help us navigate around the "messy stuff" in life - but have you ever been called to just "clean it up"? There are times when the best plan is to just rid ourselves of the mess! We need to allow it be cleaned away for good so we don't have to be so concerned with stepping into one of those "landmines" of life.
There are also times when the pathway is a little narrower and steeper than we might have desired to travel. The journey gets rough and the path doesn't seem all that sure. Know this...if God has called you to take that path, navigating it is his business and he will get you there safely. I didn't plummet to my death in the Canyon and neither will you! If the path you are on is a little slippery and kind of makes you nervous, I understand how you feel. The moments when it seems like your feet are going to go out from under you and you know the fall will be hard are the times when you need a hand to hold onto. You need that steadying force to keep you upright. That hand is always extended in Christ - so don't think you have to stay upright on your own. In fact - - - you probably cannot do it all on your own! Just sayin!