Our young daughter loves being outside. In particular she loves being able to jump in puddles, big puddles! As we walk about town, I’ve discovered the main problem with this is the largest puddles form on the edges of the actual road, as the camber dips down to drain the water from the main road surface.
As we walk along the streets, Zoe, fixated on these tempting expanses of water, and all the joy they can offer her, wanders towards them, at which point I have to remind her that cars also travel along the roads, and that she needs to stay on the safety of the pavement. All in all, the whole relentless process can become fairly tiresome, but I’ve discovered the best strategy to combat it. Focus her on something else. It can be jumping up and down, counting lampposts, singing songs, talking about what we’re going to buy at the shops, even finding the next puddle on the pavement and heading straight to that one: anything that focuses her on walking straight ahead, rather than being distracted by the big puddles on the road.
It does make me think about how easily I can wander into danger in my own life. With no focus or goals set for my whole spiritual journey or even the day ahead, I can simply meander along, and see the nearest thing that will fulfil my desires, and assume it was put there just for me. If we set out on a day with no desire to hear God, help others, achieve something, seek out beauty in the world or build relationships with others, then we could easily wander into something that looks very tempting, but could lead us to danger.
This Scripture teaches us where our thoughts should be set: ‘Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things’ (Philippians 4:8). Thinking about such things will surely keep us safe from the traps of the enemy and will help us fulfil the desires of God’s heart for our lives. It will bring us to a place of joy and fulfilment.
Prayer: For my eyes are toward You, O God the Lord. In You I have a safe place. Don’t leave me without help (Psalm 141:8). Amen.
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