Blindsided From the Front

distraction sign
I should have seen that coming.
But I didn’t, even though I’d been there before.
Maybe more than once.
Falling victim to the same temptation.
The same bad reaction in a familiar situation.
Feelings hurt and relationships damaged.
I could have changed direction, changed my course,
“if I’d only seen it coming.”
Uh…..so why didn’t I see it coming?
I coach middle school basketball and sometimes it’s difficult to
hold back my sarcastic nature.  The thought in my brain that rarely
escapes my lips is this,
How many times are you going to do it in a way completely opposite of the way
you have been instructed, and keep getting unfavorable results…….
before you commit to doing it the right way and getting positive results?
Gee, you think God has a sarcastic side?  I guess not.
But I’m sure I could stir it up pretty regularly by ignoring His commands from His word.
Proverbs 22:3 “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
danger sign  
On the simplest level, it reminds us that we have to recognize danger ahead and steer away from it.
The next level of this is to commit to not repeating the same mistakes over and over.
On a deeper level, we have to learn to recognize our own patterns of vulnerability.
Identify situations when we are most likely to be at our worst, our weakest.
Don’t let your guard down.  Do not be distracted.
Exercise caution in times of physical pain or fatigue and emotional pain or stress.
Living your life at a high rate of speed, relying only on your own strength and limited wisdom?
All these things open the doors of temptation.
And so we find ourselves, time after time, in situations where we do things that we know we shouldn’t do
or don’t like ourselves for doing, failing to even recognize temptation until it’s too late.
But our blind spots shouldn’t be blind spots when we’ve been through them time and again.
Blind spot for me?
Being short, grouchy, or simply inattentive to loved ones who desire and deserve more from me. 
We cannot ignore the situations that we know we are sure to face and fail to have the vision
required to face them the way God desires.
Invite God into situations early and often.  Study His word with an open heart and mind
with an eager desire to transfrom your way of thinking into His way.
My defenses are low, I feel like terrible physically, I am short on patience, I feel overwhelmed with life
……..these things may happen, I won’t be surprised!
Look ahead, plan ahead…..look up.  Pray!  Seek strength and direction from God.
Reflect on past mistakes and failures for the purpose of changing your course moving forward.
Know exactly “how you will not react” and “how you will react”
in moments of weakness.  See danger, steer away from it.
Sometimes it’s as simple as making plans to keep your mouth closed.
Know where those weak spots are and don’t walk into them with your eyes closed.
God will be there waiting when you come to those moments.
Awareness of His presence, love, and strength must come BOTH before and during crisis situations.
Failure comes when we continue to invite Him in only after we screw up.

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