Last night, my family and I watched a speech by a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer who lost his eyesight in an explosion in Afghanistan. He told the story of a man who, rather than precisely walking in the exact same footsteps as the bomb expert in front of him, chose to take just a few steps to the right — to the path of less resistance. He was thrown by an exploding bomb, and the man following him immediately lost both of his legs in the blast. As the officer went to assist the wounded, a separate bomb exploded underneath him and he was blinded by the shrapnel. Even as I write this, I am reminded that my disobedience and desire to follow my own path does not only cost me, but also those around me.
This morning as I was reading a C.S. Lewis book, these words spoke to me:
“Laziness means more work in the long run. Or look at it this way. In a battle, or in mountain climbing, there is often one thing which it takes a lot of pluck to do; but it is also, in the long run, the safest thing to do. If you funk it, you will find yourself, hours later, in far worse danger. The cowardly thing is also the most dangerous thing.” Mere Christianity, p. 197
When I disobey (most notably the Lord) — or even if I’m “just” being lazy — it will cost me and those close to me — and the consequences could be severe. Those are sobering words. I think that we tend to think we live in a vacuum — that our choices are only our choices, and we are the only ones who suffer when we misstep. Sadly, that is not the case. Our disobedience (“failure to follow rules, commands, etc.”) can bring about a detonation (“the action of causing a bomb or explosive device to explode.”)
Here’s a prayer for us:
Lord, thank You for another day of life. Like following a bomb expert one step at a time across a mine field, may I obey You and put my feet exactly as You do. Please help me to discern and understand just the next step. You have promised that your Word is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Help me to follow you today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The great news is that there can still be beauty from ashes. Without totally spoiling the story, I encourage you to research Lieutenant Brad Snyder or purchase his book (which I have not yet read but hope to): Fire in My Eyes: An American Warrior’s Journey from Being Blinded on the Battlefield to Gold Medal Victory.
In case I don’t have a chance to blog again before Christmas, may the joys of the season be with you and your loved ones. He is Immanuel — God with us!
Until next time,
Remember. Celebrate. Trust.