My husband and I enjoy watching college baseball and softball games around this time of year. A few years ago there was a girls softball game between Alabama and Ole Miss that left an impression on me. These aren’t teams that we normally follow. But we like the sport so much, that we will often watch any game we can find on TV. In this particular game, Alabama was losing until they got a home run and tied the game. The player ran around the bases, as her team cheered. The girls all came out of the dugout to congratulate their teammate. It was an exciting moment for them. Until things took a turn. The girl’s teammates were surrounding home plate and as she came around to home, she jumped into the crowd of friends to enjoy the celebration. Sadly, she actually jumped over home plate. And since she didn’t touch home plate, she was out. The home run didn’t count. Alabama wound up losing that game. What a difficult lesson to learn.
This story makes me think about the times when I have run ahead of God. Perhaps I saw something “shiny” and thought I had to run and grab it before the opportunity got away from me. There is a saying called FOMO and it means Fear Of Missing Out. Do we think we are going to miss out on something if we don’t hurry up and capture it?
But here is the problem – not all good things are meant for us. And some things that appear “pretty” on the outside are actually bait to pull us in the wrong direction. When Eve took a bite from the fruit in the Garden of Eden, I am sure it was pretty and shiny and appeared to be just what she needed to satisfy her. But it led straight to destruction. And not just for herself, but for every single human being who walked the face of the earth.
Before we run ahead to grab that thing that is mesmerizing us, we should slow down and seek God’s guidance. If the girl running the bases had slowed down for one moment, would she have remembered to step on home plate? And if Eve had sought God’s words first instead of grabbing what the serpent waved in front of her face, would she have made a better choice?
As Christians we have a special helper living inside of us – The Holy Spirit. He can help guide us with decisions and steer us clear of danger. I can think of a few instances in my own life where I felt the Lord nudging me in a certain direction or pulling me back when I was tempted to run ahead. And I see how His guidance kept me from making mistakes, and led me to the best option. Perhaps you have had some of those situations in your life too. Take a few minutes today to think about times when the Lord’s quiet whisper guided you in the right direction. And offer Him a prayer of thanks. In some cases, we might not even realize it is God’s hand at work, until we look back.
I pray we all can learn to lean into Him and seek His guidance. May we slow down to match God’s pace, so that we will see the best path ahead. How comforting it is to know that God is there, waiting to guide us in the right direction.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21
© 2022 Bridget A. Thomas