I was at the market yesterday to pick up a few things. While I was there, I saw some teenagers there doing whatever teenagers do. One was messing with his cell phone and not watching where he was going. One of his friend started to say “WATCH OUT!” but all he got out was “WAT” and POW, the kid on his phone walked right into a DVD display. It went crashing down as did he, scattering the DVD’s everywhere, him on top of the mess. That reminded me of a time when I was in High School, probably 15 or 16 years old at the time. I was hanging out at the mall with some buddies and as we were pretending to act busy and important, but actually hoping to meet some girls, I saw some girls about our age, doing about the same. I got distracted, she was cute, smiled at me and as I was about to try to get brave enough to go talk to her my friends started saying things like “Hey man” “Dude” but I ignored them, one made an odd sound and as I tried to turn towards him, POW, right into one of those concrete poles or pillar, whatever you call it. Ummmm, what just happened? I didn’t get knocked out, but wow, did it humble and embarrass me. My buddies were laughing, the girl and her friends were too. Well, that wasn’t expected……or was it?
I hate to admit it, but I have possibly done things like that on more occasions than I care to admit, walking in the woods and get distracted and step into a hole or walk into a tree, other times walk straight into a door, and other similar things. WHY does that happen? Well, I get distracted or I fail to listen closely when someone tries to warn me about something and due to that, I get lumps, bumps, bruises, my ego gets hit hard too. It is pretty hard to look like a cool guy after you face plant into a pillar. I have had friends do the same thing, be distracted and not listen when we first try to warn them and suffer the consequences. And, other times, kids being kids, sometimes people on either side of one of us would slowly steer us towards a pillar or sometimes in stores, displays of some sort, just to see what would happen. I have had that occur to me, and to my discredit, been on of those trying to get someone to walk into something. Kids are not always kind to even their friends. Honestly, adults aren’t always that kind either. Anytime it happens, there is always laughter as well as someone asking if whoever just did that is ok.
There are often warning signs in other areas that sometimes we heed, sometimes we don’t. I have one co-worker that is slow and not bad at her job, but lower quality work than others of the same education and level of licensure. Some of those in charge noticed it, but instead of acting on the warning signs, attributed it to being new at that location so no action was taken. It was compounded a few weeks later when there were marked issues that were being looked into regarding productivity and quality of care she provided. But, she had made friends with someone at the top of the chain at our facility so they refused to even take time to objectively review the information they were given. Instead, they let personal opinion sway a professional review and immediately terminated the evaluation that was being completed. This went on for several months and at this facility, within 6 months of start date they can terminate the employee without too much difficulty. But, if they fail to do so, the person becomes considered permanent and the process is 100 fold more complicated. Due to the senior officers failure to objectively review what was there and make the proper determination based on evidence instead of feelings the facility and the area in which the employee works are having complications from that failure to act properly when the concern was first noticed. The facility essentially walked into a pole because of one person’s failure to listen and heed the warnings.
Relationships are another tricky area. I have been married for quite some time, and while I hate to admit it, it was never the type of marriage relationship I thought it should be for people. There were warning signs, at first, some were there, but subtle, and they began to be more obvious. Different things I saw that SHOULD have been huge warnings that I ignored. Various acts, which I harped about for a while, but then, finally realized it wasn’t the individual acts, it was the attitude behind the actions. Essentially, she made herself and her wants her number one priority, then second was pleasing others, then maybe me. Had it only been God in front of me, I would not have been bothered, but God was and is a lower priority than I. Like I said, at first any fights were about individual acts, but, eventually I saw that it wasn’t the acts, well, somewhat, but the mindset was the real problem, since the acts were derived from that. Oh, I am not pretending to be blameless, no one in a relationship is perfect and the blame is never all one’s burden. But, had I been alert, paying attention to the warning signs as I should have done, I would not face some of the issues that I face now.
That happens in our spiritual life as well. We can get distracted by events in life, we don’t pay attention to all that is going on around us, we get somewhat oblivious to surroundings and other circumstances and events to which we should be paying heed. We don’t watch for warnings that should tell us of approaching problems. In the case of the pole, there was a different color to the flooring as well as a different texture, I should have noticed those, even if I didn’t notice the pillar. But, I was distracted, I was not watching where my path was taking me. I headed straight into harm’s way. As I said, there are always warning signs spiritually. There are indicators that something is not as it should be, the trick is being sensitive enough to watch for those signs and to respond when we do notice them.
I had written previously about slowly drifting away from God. Work, school, family, all those things played into things that made it more difficult, well, no I should say less easy, to find times to pray and seek Christ. I started having one thing and another occur that should have given warning, but I didn’t pay attention. My Christian walk was slowing, and then stopped. Even then, warning signs that I needed to get back to God that I failed to heed. Issues at home, work, with family, school, recreational time such as fishing, golf, etc can all be cause of complications with spiritual life. Warning signs that one’s priorities are not as they should be, that they are drifting from the right path, that they are going to run into a pole spiritually because of those, or many other, factors. All should have had warning signs, failure to be alert for them, failure to be sensitive to His way for us. He puts convictions in our hearts, reminders one way or the other that we are letting Him down, and by doing so, hurting ourselves. God tries to warn us, sometimes we are too hard headed to listen. I have been just that way. I felt the convictions from Christ about not being in church or praying like I should have, but I justified it as it was needful to work to support my family, I needed to complete college so I could get into medical school, I had to work hard there to get a good residency and be a good doctor, I had to work hard at residency and had so much call that I had to do that I couldn’t make time, etc, etc. Excuses are easy to find, but most are not valid and those using them know they aren’t good justification. I know I knew they were not reasons, but only excuses and, my spiritual life suffered from that.
To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. Jeremiah 6:10
4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Yes, He gives warnings, of spiritual dangers and consequences of failure to heed those warnings. God also gives warning of failure to listen to the truth of Christ as the Redeemer through whom we have forgiveness of our sins and salvation from eternal death but that we may have life through and with Christ.
Lord, I praise Your Holy Name. I thank You for the blessings You give me. For the sacrifice made by Your Son, Jesus that gave me salvation and forgiveness. I pray in Jesus name that You help me see warning signs in the future to help me avoid problems in life and especially in my spiritual walk. Help me walk with Christ as I should, help me seek Jesus. I ask that You continue to help me better serve You. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones and others that You give them better understanding to help them avoid difficulties in their spiritual walks as well. I ask that You draw those who believe closer and the unsaved, draw them to You that they will have salvation as well. Give us all guidance on Your will and way in our lives.
I do appreciate everyone bearing with me as go about my life, trying to find areas I need to improve upon and I do pray my insight for my life helps someone else as well as for blessings for all. Do try to be a blessing to others as well.