To Close to the Edge
Let’s say that there is a little boy who loves to play in a sandy spot that is too close to the edge of the road. His mom has talked to him and disciplined him repeatedly, but he ignores her words and actions. He doesn’t see the real danger, and to him, it is just the best place to play.
One day when he is, once again, playing dangerously close to the edge, a car comes speeding down the road and before the little boy can react the car is off the edge of the road and headed right for him. He freezes in fear. Miraculously, the car speeds past him and actually hits a tree in the yard. His mom has seen all this and is running out the door toward him. The driver of the car is fine and so is the little boy. Whew!!
That night and for weeks to come the little guy has night terrors about being hit by a car in his yard. If he had been obedient to his mom he would have been able to avoid all these terrible dreams and would have had sweet sleep.
How in the world can this relate to our devotional for today??
Proverbs 4:20-23 ESV
“20My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings,
“21Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.
“22For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.
“23Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
King Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs and as I am sure you know, it is a book of wisdom from God, just as all of the Bible is.
In seeking God about how to deal with the anxiety, I felt lead to cut way back on my TV viewing.
At first, I cut out all crime drama and murder mysteries. I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and I love the “Murder She Wrote” television show reruns that came on in the 80s. I keep thinking I should revisit those wonderful 80s hairstyles. Nah!! But, really, the anxiety level did drop a good bit when people were not being murdered in multiple rooms of my house on a daily basis.
Though I did completely remove the mystery type programming and movies from my viewing diet, I was still struggling. I kept praying about it and asking God to help me. I had cut way down on all my TV but not cut it out completely.
Consider the fictitious little boy near the edge of the road.
Then the end of October rolled around. Many of you know what happens at the end of October, right?? Hallmark begins playing all Christmas Movies on both channels!!! Well, slide right back into way too much TV, I did. It is a slippery slope. That is true with all addictions, isn’t it? Yep, I said addiction.
Just like that fictitious boy’s bad dreams, yesterday, I noticed that the anxiety was quite high. I thought about this huge Christmas project I am working on but I think it is under control. I am not super nerved up about it. Then I thought, “It must be the movies playing in the background, while I am working.”
Today, as I was about to start my quiet time, I was asking God to please help me get the TV time under control. It just seems harmless to me – cheesy Hallmark Christmas Movies – ya know? I know that too much of a good thing is too much, but what is too much?
Then I started reading in John 20 about Thomas having to see the nail holes in Jesus’ hands. Jesus made him wait eight days after all the other disciples had seen Him. That is when it dawned on me where the problem is. God is so good!!
Why did I need to know God’s reason before I obeyed Him on the serious reduction of my TV diet?? Kind of like Thomas had to wait eight days for Jesus to show Himself alive to him, I was not convinced. If I had been, I think would have obeyed.
Even if these movies are totally moral and with no foul language, there is a problem for me. God helped me to see that for me the movies themselves may not increase the anxiety, but in every commercial break, there are what?
There are commercials about cancer medications and the American Cancer Society – at least two or three spots in each break.
Don’t get me wrong! I am so excited and thankful to God for all the breakthroughs in cancer research over the last 15 years! However, as a 15-year cancer free breast cancer survivor, I cannot have that in my face constantly. I have made several decisions over the years to help me not to live in fear of a reoccurrence. These commercials do not help me do that. I am so thankful that God kept talking to me and finally pounded it into my hard head. Now I am committed to only watch one or two Hallmark Christmas movies a week. HUGE Reduction in my diet!
All that being said, if you or someone you know is struggling with cancer and want/need someone to talk to, I run to those opportunities. I know God has and will use my experience for His glory. Watching those commercials over and over is just not good for me.
We need to, as the above verses say, listen when God tells us something because He is protecting us!! I amaze myself!! I am so hard-headed even with my Maker who knows every single thing there is to know about me! How about you?
Things to Ponder:
- Is there anything that you are waiting for God to prove to you?
- Wouldn’t you be better off, like me, if you just obeyed the first time He showed you?
May we just listen and obey. This is my prayer for all of us today.