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I am not tripped up that easily!

Have you ever tripped over your own feet? Worse yet, have you done it in public? How'd that leave you feeling? Kind of goofy and a little embarrassed, if you are at all like me! Your immediate response might be to poke a little fun at yourself for being so clumsy, but inside you are kicking yourself for not paying closer attention and you are dealing with utter humiliation. Imagine the 'trip up' was not a literal one of falling over your own two feet, but of a more spiritual and emotional nature. You 'slip into' a bad thought pattern and then begin to act upon those thoughts. You are way past tired and begin to respond to others in a curt and unreasonable manner. You get mildly distracted by something that should hold your attention for all that long, but when you finally realize you are distracted, you are already way too far into the 'fall' that you cannot stop yourself. Been there - done that - dealt with the humiliation of it!

If I keep my eyes on God, I won't trip over my own feet. (Psalm 25:15)

This may be a short verse, but it packs a wallop! It has both a condition and a result. We call that "cause and effect" in the world of science. If we see the cause of an action, we understand better the effect of that same action (or at least we think we do). God's conditions are a little easier to understand than some of the other 'cause and effect' things we explore in this world. The condition: IF I keep my eyes on God. The result: I WON'T trip over my own feet. I know that "if" is a pretty short word, but it conveys a great deal of meaning. I looked it up (you knew I would) and found that there are eleven dictionary meanings for this tiny two-letter word! In light of this scripture passage, I think a few of them are worth considering.

"Granting or supposing that..." - Suppose that I keep my eyes on God, what will my outcome be? What impact will that focus have in my life? What obstacles will I avoid in my path? "When or whenever..." - Perhaps we need to see that our focus can actually drift. We can allow other things to become central in our focus, taking our eyes off of God and placing them on things that will provide some "tripping" opportunities. "Provided that..." - This is the conditional part of the statement. It implies a condition on which something depends or that must be in place before something happens. Our safety, security, and spiritual well-being is "conditioned" on dependence on God's leading. Without his leading, we are bound to "trip up". The outcome or result of meeting the "condition" of the "if" is that we "won't" trip up! Look at what makes us trip up, though. It is our own feet! In other words, it is the stuff we allow to clutter up our thoughts, our speech, and our activities. God's plan is that we allow him to remove obstacles from our path, and to help us maneuver around those things that are not going to be removed because they serve a purpose to help us grow. 

 I remember crossing an old suspension bridge once. It was probably 50 or more years old - something most would not want to cross if they were entirely sane at the moment. I had a friend who went across ahead of me. He stood on the other side of that great divide and helped me "maintain focus" as I crossed. He would continually remind me to "not look down". When I did look down, the obstacle of crossing that bridge was overwhelming - panic arose in my mind and I was almost paralyzed in my forward movement. When I kept (and redirected) my focus on him, having gone before me with ease, I knew I'd make it.The same is true with our Lord - he has gone before us in all that we face. No obstacle is in our path that he will not safely maneuver us around - IF we keep our focus on him. No obstacle in our path need trip us up - including the obstacle of our own two feet! Just sayin!

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