One winter day, Michael and I were bored out of our minds. So we decided to bundle up and jump on the tractor. We ground through all 4 gears as we barrelled down the field, when all of a sudden I spotted a huge ant hill. I was driving and Michael was sitting on the side rail of the tractor. I thought we could kill two birds with one stone, and wipe out that ant hill. Little did I know that those mounds froze as solid as Mr. McCurdy's farm pond in the winter time. I hit that thing head on... The tractor launched several feet in the air as if I was Evil Knievel attempting to jump the Grand Canyon. Mike fell off the tractor, and I was doing everything I could to hold on for dear life. I was so shocked by the unexpected that I grabbed hold of the wheel and just held on for the ride. Thankfully, both my brother and I were okay.
This story is so indicative of real life. We can be going along doing things the same way we always have, but one slight alteration can change and affect our circumstances. When the temperature changed, the entire ant hill was altered. Many of us have seen marriages go along at a steady pace doing the same things they always have, but then all of a sudden they can change. Naivety is not an excuse for not being watchful and vigilant. We have to be fully alert and aware of our surroundings at all times. I Peter 5:8(NIV) says, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." What type of things in your life can alter your existence and reality from what it is today?
I have always said that it is better to be proactive, rather than reactive. If you are proactive, then you are alert and aware of what could possibly trip you up. If you are reactive, then it has already happened. In my Financial Planning business, I am constantly counseling against just buying budgetary software and inputting yur expenses after you spend the money. That is great if you want to look back on the year and see where your money went, but it does nothing for planning and telling your money where to go before you spend it. Life is the same way. I encourage people to have safeguards in their marriage in order to avoid the parasitic pit falls in life that so easily entrap us. Being married and flirting with a co-worker is like taking a step into a roach motel. It looks appealing at the time and appears harmless, but it will alter your situation in a demoralizing fashion. Once you call something harmless, then you are barrelling towards that frozen ant hill at full speed. Once you get trapped, then that roach motel is unforgiving and will ensnare you.
God wants us to be proactive with our lives. We are not to allow parasites to creep into our lives, but should always expect the unexpected. When I talk about safeguards with people, half the time they do not know what I am talking about. I have implemented so many of them in my life that I don't realize that others haven't. One such safeguard in my marriage is that I don't partake in "Harmless Flirting." Inevitably this will lead you down a path of destruction. Another is that I don't allow myself in any compromising situations with somebody of the opposite sex. You might think this is a given, but it is not. I can't tell you how many good Christian guys I talk to, tell me about how they go on calls all day with their sales manager, and then stop off for dinner with them at the end of the day. There is a reason that fifty percent of our marriages end in divorce, and the majority of them have to do with infidelity. It is absolutely imperative that we watch out for Life Altering circumstances, and that we think through what leads to them. It is time to be proactive and take responsibility for our lives, and not react to the crisis at hand that could have been prevented...