I recently read “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan for the first time and was struck on so many levels by the spiritual awareness and implications of the allegory.  The main focus that comes through over and over is to stay on the narrow path and trust in the King of the Celestial City.   That simple demand proves difficult time and time again in the protagonist’s life, and is so for mine as well. 

Being vigilant or watchful is something we know we should be doing, but seems to take a back seat.  “Be of sober spirit, be on alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8.   “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” Proverbs 4:23.  We will go to church, or watch it online (check), do our devotional (check), say a quick prayer before dinner or bed (check, check), but seldom do we remain vigilant.  You only remain vigilant, when you remember you’re in the midst of danger.  

When I worked in North Carolina as a wilderness therapist we often went on hikes or canoe trips with the boys.  It’s important to learn quickly that North Carolina has a variety of snakes and several are venomous.  Rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins, and coral snakes all can be found there, and I have had the pleasure of running into each variety with the boys.  On one hike I was leading the group with all 10 of the boys behind me, and my co-worker taking the rear.  I had unintentionally stepped over a rattlesnake curled up on the trail leading all 10 of my boys straight over it.  It wasn’t until my co-worker called out and got our attention did we even know it was there.  That could have been and probably should have been a terrible afternoon had it not been for the grace of God.  I from that point on remained vigilant on the trail.  

Can we say the same about our spiritual lives?  Are we remaining vigilant as we live our lives?  Maybe you’re leading a family, maybe you’re single, the context doesn’t matter, what matters is being alert and keeping your eyes on Christ.  Don’t be lulled to sleep in this time, remain watchful and keep your heart fixed on Christ. 

In His Grip,

Scott Hoerner