Friday, August 15, 2014


A flashing light ahead! Law enforcement sets up check points around holidays to catch substance abuse drivers. Most of us don't mind such traffic delays since they help to prevent accidents.

Life also has sobriety check points. They are reality checks. God may be behind them working out His loving purposes for our good. 

It might be the sudden death of a loved one that forces us to become acutely aware of our own mortality. Or a doctor's serious prognosis will signal that life as we have known it will drastically change. Perhaps a simple notice in our mailbox that we now qualify for AARP benefits makes us realize that it's time to reshuffle our dreams and goals. It might be the graduation of a child, a wedding, or a milestone birthday; perhaps a near accident that leaves us shaken; the deterioration of our health, or becoming aware of the diminishing of our mental powers. Or a hard look in the mirror, a catastrophic storm that leaves our prized possessions in shambles, a poor investment or a financial crash that wipes out our life savings. A spouse suddenly deserts the family, a job is lost, or a simple step on the bathroom scale may be a sobering shock for some. Any of these things might force us to face a new normal. The list of potential taps on the shoulder is long and unique to each of us.

Without these sobriety check points in life we tend to drift along. As negative as they may seem, they force us to face reality and may allow us time to correct our course. “So teach us to number our days that we may present to Thee [Lord] a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).


God tapped me on the shoulder.
Busy, distracted, I postponed:
“Wait a minute.”
Time slipped by.

Detoured by trivial, temporal tasks,
I deferred: “Later.”
Time dashed by.

I mistook urgency as priority,
but it was not of the essence
of eternity.
I put God off again:
“Another time.” But
time flew by.

Dismayed with life's futility,
distraught by mundane toil,
distressed by swiftly fleeting days,
I realized then
that time was running out.

God got my attention
by reminding me finally
through my fragility
of my own mortality
and dispensability.

God pursues me
relentlessly and lovingly
by blessing me lavishly
or through affliction and adversity
whatever is necessary
to turn my heart
toward Eternity.

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