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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bonnie Miller

Bonnie Miller has made headlines, but not in the way she might have preferred.
A story today on Yahoo.com tells of her recent fall from a pier into six feet of
cold water.  Luckily, others were nearby to help fish her out.  But instead of
trying to cover up her accident, Bonnie decided to talk about it in as public a
forum as possible to warn others of the danger she didn't see.

What caused her to fall off the pier that day?  Bonnie was texting as she
walked.  Yes, we've heard the warnings about texting while driving, and such
warnings are needed.  Driving a vehicle demands our full attention; the margin
for error while driving is so slim that all distractions should be minimized.
Now we're learning that distractions can be hazardous outside of the car.

Just last month a video was posted on YouTube.  A Canadian news reporter was
commenting on something as he stood in front of an office building.  While the
camera recorded his report, a woman was seen behind him, texting as she walked.
She didn't notice the steps ahead, and tumbled embarrassingly.  The video has
been viewed almost 4 million times!

What is to be learned from such incidents?  It says something about the
absorbing power of new gadgets.  But it also reminds us that certain activities
need our full attention, even if we think we can do them with less focus.
Imagine being captured on camera falling off a pier while texting!

Stories like these are humorous because no one was injured badly.  What if the
consequences were more serious?  What if a person's eternal well-being were at
stake?

Paul had a warning for the Christians at Ephesus: "See then that you walk
circumspectly, not as fools but as wise" (Ephesians 5:15).  The word
"circumspectly" is "carefully" in other translations.  And Paul is not literally
referring to how our legs move our bodies around; he is urging us to live
carefully.  This type of "walking" is even more important, for the way we live
determines our standing in the sight of God.

Earlier in that chapter Paul again used the image of walking: "For you were once
darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light"
(Ephesians 5:8).  Any of us who have tried to find our way to the bathroom at
night can attest that there are dangers from this kind of unfocused walking.
How can we focus if there is no light?  But God provides the light we need (in
His word) to help us walk carefully.

John gives us perhaps the simplest model of how to walk with proper focus: "He
who says he abides in [Christ] ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1
John 2:6).  Jesus is the perfect example of how to live.  If we concentrate on
following those divine steps, we will do just fine.  But if we allow things in
this life to distract us, we will find ourselves veering off the course.

Here is the formula for focused walking: "For to this you were called, because
Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His
steps" (1 Peter 2:21).  Pay close attention to the record of Christ's life,
found in the New Testament.  Mark His steps.  Then stay focused as you walk in
those steps.

Timothy D. Hall.
 

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