What Trips You Up?

trip, fallIt was my third day walking the narrow bike path through the woods. I’d had no problems the other days but this time I tripped, not once but twice. Within about ten minutes, each foot had taken a turn!

Both times, my body propelled forward. Both times, I managed to catch myself and regain my sense of balance so I didn’t fall. After the second time I was more aware of my steps. On my return I watched to see what my feet might have caught on.

There were several spots where rocks or exposed roots could have been the culprit. However, it was only a couple that actually tripped me. Maybe I’d been dragging my feet in certain areas. Perhaps, since I’d travelled the path before, I was overconfident and didn’t pay enough attention. Either way, it got me thinking of the things that can trip me up in life.

I have been known to trip over my own feet. I can’t even blame that on an unseen obstacle in my way. It is purely a case of not paying proper attention.

Come to think of it, not paying proper attention is generally what causes me to get tripped up. The trip may not be literal. It could be a slip of the tongue. It could be impatience, overconfidence or carelessness. Whatever it may be, I am always caught off guard.

Sometimes I am able to catch myself before any harm is done. Other times my action causes me to fall on my face. In embarrassment I look around to see if my error in judgement caused anyone else to stumble with me.

I pick myself up and vow to be more careful in the future. And I am, until the next time I forget and rush into something instead of slowing down and paying attention. I can’t be the only one and so I ask, what trips you up?

Log Jams

log jam photoThe river was flowing steadily as I headed upstream. It was lovely walking beside it with the sun peeking out from the clouds, warming my face. As I walked along further I noticed that the pace of the river had changed. The previously rushing water had now slowed and was much gentler. This slower pace was very calming. I wondered what had happened to cause this change in the flow so started watching it more carefully. Continuing on I came to a place where trees had fallen into the water, partially obstructing the flow. This was what had slowed its pace – a log jam.
Looking at this, I was reminded of the obstacles that have suddenly appeared in my path, slowing me down. What I perceived as a log jam could have been something put there to serve a purpose in my life. Maybe I need to slow down, reflect and re-evaluate where I am going instead of being caught up in the current of life. The blockage does not stop the river. It keeps flowing, just changes course. This is another part of the lesson. Obstacles do not have to stop me. They enable me to change my course, often to a better one I would not have taken otherwise. When I take the time to listen and observe, I realize that God has placed many lessons in the beauty of nature that surrounds me.
A person may plan his own journey, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9 God’s Word Translation