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?

Tacky Tourists

#Jesus, #Christ, #inspiration, My husband and I recently visited a National Park. Some of the trails we walked on were only wide enough for two people. That meant if we encountered someone coming the opposite way we would walk single file. We soon learned that not everyone had the same opinion. When the ones approaching us didn’t move over we were forced off the path and into the underbrush.

I was amazed to see a number of people stop in the middle of a trail and line up others in their party to take pictures. It wasn’t the photo opportunities that surprised me as much as the lack of concern for others wanting to get by. They would block the way with no consideration for anyone else.

My frustration was starting to rise when I felt a nudge in my conscience. How many times have I blocked someone from getting to Jesus? It may not have been my intention to get in the way, but when I become focused on my own needs and desires that is exactly what happens. Either they are forced to step into the weeds, stand and wait or turn the other direction.

If I am the centre of attention Christ is relegated to the background. No one should have to go around me to get to him. My role is to be the window through which Jesus can be seen, not the obstacle that makes them want to turn in the opposite direction.

Most situations have a lesson to teach. My experience in the park was a reminder not to get in the way. I need to step aside and let Jesus be the guide.

Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. (1Corinthians 10:24 NLT)

The Path

focus, inspiration, JesusIt was a lovely spring day. The sun was shining and the warmer temperature had melted the snow. We set out for a walk, keeping in mind that the paths may still be wet and muddy.

As we walked and talked I stopped paying attention to the path and sometimes walked right through large puddles. I also discovered that when I focused on things off to the side of the path, I would find myself moving in the direction I was looking. When this happened it made it difficult to actually stay on the path.

My husband and I talked about this and realized that it was a mirror of our lives. It is very easy to get so caught up in things around us that we lose track of the path we should be following. This can take us through some uncomfortable situations until we find our way back.

Jesus has laid out a path that he wants me to follow. When I focus on where he wants me to be, I am not as easily distracted by things around me. I see the obstacles and hazards before they become a problem. My path may not seem as wide as the ones others around me are taking, but I know there will be many opportunities around each bend. This is the path that leads to fulfillment and life everlasting.

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:14 NIV