Stay Alert- It Makes a Huge Difference!

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, October 27, 2021

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Since entering into a phase of semi-retirement a few weeks back, my daily activities have gone through some noticeable adjustments. One of those adjustments is a commitment to helping my wife more around the house with daily chores. I might not do those things as well as she does, but I give it my best shot and she seems to be pleased when she can come in and sit down after a long hard day of taking care of children. It helps her plus it brings me a lot of pleasure to give her a little relief.

Another goal that I am striving to meet and keep is spending more leisure time with her. The extra time with her does not consist of elaborate and costly adventures, but simple things. In recent weeks we have been fishing a few times and enjoyed it immensely whether we caught anything or not. Sometimes she outdoes me on the catch, but when I drop the fish in the grease neither of us cares whose catch of the day it was. We just enjoy the product of time well spent.

We ventured out a little more and drove down to the beach last week end. It was still warm but not as stifling as it was during the heat of the summer as we sat and had a great time conversing in the beauty of God’s creation. I am not much of a water person, but the sights and sounds of the coastline seem to bring me to a place of peace that other places cannot. Even though we had only a few hours there it was refreshing and relaxing. Nevertheless, such times cannot last forever so we headed back home.

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As we traveled along, still enjoying each other’s company, everything seemed to be going normally and as expected—until! With fairly light traffic and clear weather, we were able to move along at the posted speed limit of fifty-five when suddenly a car from a side road pulled directly into our lane. There was no time to look in the rearview mirror for clearance to move over into the other lane. Thankfully I was able to safely brake and swerve, missing the encroaching vehicle by what appeared to be inches. But that necessary maneuver in turn put us into a swaying motion that took a bit to recover from as I guided our vehicle back into control without over correcting. We were a bit shaken, but there was no personal or property damage. I am thankful to God for a good outcome that could easily have been tragic, and my confidence in the suspension system of our car went up immensely—perhaps there are a few things that are still well made after all.

Almost everyone who has driven very much has encountered similar situations. The one thing that comes to my mind that greatly and directly impacted the outcome of our incident was alertness. Had I been distracted by other things I would likely have lost valuable split seconds that were of more value than the finest of gold in that moment.

Just as mental and physical alertness led to safety and averted what could have been a severe accident for Gale and I, spiritual alertness is essential to our safe and successful journey toward eternity. As Apostle Paul instructed the church of the Thessalonians, he included guidance regarding the return of Christ that was intended to set their minds at ease about issues that they were confused about and to remind them how they were to live as they awaited His appearing. In doing so, he stated that followers of Christ must remain alert: “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self controlled” (1 Thessalonians 5:6, New International Version). What are we to be alert to? Alert regarding our devotion to Christ, our desire to follow God’s Word, and our determination to please Him above all else.

What Paul wrote way back then is needful for us today. So when all is said done, staying alert makes a huge difference.