Do You Look Both Ways?

Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways”. Proverbs 4:26

I don’t recall why, but I when I was around four-years-old,  I decided to run away from home. Problem: I wasn’t allowed to cross the street.  So I trudged around the block with my little pink suitcase in one hand and my stuffed lion under my arm. Within twenty minutes I had circled the block and ended up back at home in tears.

What made me recall this incident I won’t  reveal how many decades later? While preparing to give a talk to some churchwomen, I found these children’s letters to God online. This one in particular spoke a deep truth.

You don’t have to worry about me. I always look both ways.” (DEAN)

As a small child, I had strict boundaries and knew the rules. It appears Dean does as well. As long as he looks both ways before crossing the street, nothing bad will happen to him, right?

If only life was so easy. As adults we get used to weighing the odds and making all the decisions. We set the rules. We decide our actions. We plot our course. Problem is, we can’t predict the future.

Sometimes we assume the way is clear. We quickly glance first then head out. WHAM – life hits us unexpectedly. Didn’t see that coming. Didn’t detect it, hear it, smell it, or even fathom it.  A tornado siren sounds one minute and your whole life ripped apart the next. The phone rings. A routine blood test comes back with bad news. A pink slip lands on your desk.

But after the shell shock, we may realize that someone was watching out for us. Something prepared us in ways we never knew. A hand held on and yanked us out of the way, or drew us closer.

A  quiet thought, steadfast rule, or profound statement embedded in our subconscious begins to acts as a lifeline. We cling to it. Such as  Romans 8:28 or Philippians 4:6-7 or Psalm 121:3-8.

Or my mother’s admonition to never cross the street alone.

Perhaps we adults need to be more childlike and go back to the basics.  Ask permission. Seek guidance. Wouldn’t it be more wise to look again–just in case–instead of being so sure of ourselves as little Dean is? Maybe we need to grab Daddy’s hand more often, no matter how big we feel we are.

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission

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