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Too many to count

I am always on the look-out for a good deal. I like to find those mark-downs on the end-caps, come across a great garage sale with items so reasonably priced, and even find the perfect good deal on the social media marketplace. A person on the 'look-out' really has to be on their toes, or it is quite possible a good deal could pass them by. Staying on your toes is a term used to describe being prepared for whatever could happen - ready for action - ready to jump in and to take action no matter what it may require. We also could describe this type of 'look-out' stance as being alert and aware of what is going on around us - not missing a beat. There is attentiveness, preparedness, and an investment which is spoken of when we are 'on the look-out'.

So watch your step, friends. Make sure there's no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it's still God's Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn't slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we're in this with Christ for the long haul. (Hebrews 3:12-14)

Scripture tells us to take a good, hard look at Jesus. This is suggestive of more than just merely "entertaining" a fleeting acquaintance with who he is or what he has been doing. It is suggestive of being really deeply engaged in finding out who this Jesus really is to us. In taking this "good, hard look" at Jesus, we are to come to the place where we recognize he is the center of all we believe and do - not just some small part of our belief system. As the center, it is important to realize everything else we believe must begin and end with him. We are reminded throughout scripture to consider the failure of our forefathers in the faith - the Israelites - who failed miserably in trusting God over and over again. For a while, they'd surge ahead in faith, aligned with God's plans, but when they got "comfortable" with God's grace in their lives, they began to take God's grace for granted - he drifted out of center in their lives. In the end, they'd fall into all kinds of sinful misdeeds which God had clearly warned them to avoid. Their actions are described as "trying God's patience". I so totally see myself doing that! I wonder just how many times I have taken God for granted, settled into my comfortable place, and drifted into complacency? Too many to count.

Guess what? I am not in this "comfort zone" alone! I think I have other companions in this journey who have done the same! In fact, this is why God reminds us to "keep each other on our toes"! He knew comfort's extremely easy "drift". He also knew the best way to avoid the "drift" is to have a companion in the journey - one who helps us to remain on our toes. I honestly believe having someone in our lives who keeps us on our toes is more than having someone we confess our struggles to and ask for them to pray for us on a particular matter of concern. One of my most important "accountability" partners doesn't even know she is holding me accountable at times - she just does because I give her permission to 'call me out' when I am acting a little out of sorts! In the simple ways she challenges me to consider my actions, to temper my words, or even to just get it together, I am kept on "my toes". Yep, she is helping me to draw nearer to Christ just by being in my life. A boxer in the ring needs to be "on his toes" when he is faced by an opponent. It is the presence of that opponent that brings him to attention - demands his focus. I wonder how many times we have discounted the activity of being faced with an opponent in life? Perhaps the presence of an opponent is really helping to keep us on our toes! Through comfort and unease, we have to be ready for anything. We will face much in the journey - some more enjoyable than others. In the midst of it all, we need each other's "coaching" to remain on our toes - so we don't give into the "drift" and lure of that place of comfort. Who's in your life, keeping you on your toes today? It could be a friend, or it could be the one in the ring with you! Either way - keep Christ at the center, stay on your toes, and don't get too comfortable! Just sayin!

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