Be sober-minded and alert, for your enemy is like a heron by a waterfall, waiting for a fish to devour!
That’s a bit of a paraphrase of 1 Peter 5:8, but I think it holds on to the original meaning.
Lessons in Nature
I was going on a run this week, and as I crossed a bridge I caught sight of a large heron in the stream below. The heron was as still as a statue, and he was right at the bottom of a small rapids and waterfall. I realized that this must be a strategic place for him to wait. After all, what better time to catch a fish than after it has just been washed over a waterfall? I could imagine that the fish would be disoriented, and would be totally focused on staying afloat and trying to figure out which way is up. The fish would be so distracted by the ‘danger’ of the waterfall that he wouldn’t be watching out for the actual danger lurking above the surface. And BANG, before the fish could get right-side-up after the wild ride of the rapids, he would be lunch.
I actually really like herons in general, but today I felt a bit of compassion for the fish. After all, haven’t we been washed over quite a waterfall recently? Our entire habitat has been turned upside down in a dozen big and small ways. Many of us feel just a little bit like that fish – tossed and turned in the current, and not sure which way is up. We’re distracted. We’re irritated. We’re hyper vigilant about a variety of dangers and enemies, near and far. And we’re just hoping that things get back to normal, eventually.
Dads – I want to remind you that we have an enemy who is lurking in the water. Like a heron, we may not see him because he isn’t really part of our world. He exists just outside our line of sight, quietly waiting above the water that we swim in. We just see the ripples and shadows of his presence and his work. But he is still real, and he is still deadly. Our enemy, the devil, is always watching for an opportunity to take us out!
Take Inventory and Take Action
How is your family? How is your wife? How are your kids? How are you? What do you need to do to build your resilience? What do you need to do to bless your wife and kids? How can you help them keep their heads on a swivel so that they don’t get taken out? In order to be sober minded and alert you need to do whatever it takes to get right-side-up after the rapids we’ve just swam through!
Today’s message is simple: Stay Healthy. Stay Serious. Stay Alert!
This post is really just a reminder to be alert, not a prescription for what to do. But here are a few ideas that may help:
Begin and end each day with The One Minute Pause (Wild at Heart)
Say “No” to things that don’t bring you closer to God. We all are so busy! Do they really need to be on BOTH sports teams, after all? Say No to some good things so that you can say Yes to the best things that are in line with God’s will.
Get enough sleep. (If you say “I can’t. I’m too busy.” Then see the previous suggestion.)
Start a prayer journal.
Get away with God frequently, for 15 minutes, or an hour, or maybe a weekend. (Jesus needed to, after all…)
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