Monday, August 22, 2011

Way Too Close

I was too close. When I pulled into the driveway and angled the car toward the garage, I had a feeling I’d need to back up, and straighten the car to fit into the space for my vehicle. I looked again, and thought to myself, ‘No, I think I can make it…” As I put the car in gear and inched forward, the scraping sound confirmed my original fears. I WAS too close. I should have gone with my initial instincts…but it was too late now.

I put the car in park and got out to survey the damage. Sure enough, I had hit the trim that frames the garage door opening. The headlight washer on the passenger side had broken off, and a five-inch piece of the garage door trim had splintered as a result of my ingenious behavior. Oh, how I wish I could press the rewind button and be graced with a do-over! Instead, I need to be thankful the damage wasn’t worse, and learn from my mistake.

There’s a life lesson embedded in my unfortunate mishap. Sometimes, I’m convinced I can handle certain things, when in reality – I cannot. I’m reminded of Solomon’s words of wisdom, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life,” (Proverbs 4:23; KJV).

When I’m faced with life’s temptations, they beckon me to come closer. I pause and think to myself, “What’s the harm in just taking a closer look?” I forget that my heart is often deceived and my human nature tends to justify its desires (Jeremiah 17:9). As I step closer, I convince myself that I’ll be fine, forgetting that I’m exposing a very vulnerable part of myself - my heart.

The enemy of my heart knows what he’s doing. He tempts me to get close enough for him to strike. He wants me to fall into his trap. It’s my job to stay alert and watchful. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” (1 Peter 5:8). He preys on my weaknesses, seeking to make me ineffective for Christ.

Being aware of what tempts me is important. Preparing myself to stay at a safe distance when temptation arrives is even more crucial. I don’t remember the first time I heard the expression, “It’s better to be safe, than sorry,” but applying this principle to my life goes a long way toward protecting my vulnerable heart from temptation.

Yes, my close encounter with the garage door could have been avoided. Did I learn something? You bet! The next time temptation flags me down, I’ll think twice before taking a closer look. With the Lord’s help, I can stay far away from things that appear harmless, but in reality are meant to destroy.

Can you identify weaknesses in your life? Those areas where you’re easily tempted? What step will you take today to remain far away from temptation?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for continuing to teach me valuable life lessons. Help me be alert and watchful when it comes to the devil’s schemes. I know he seeks to destroy me, but You give me the tools to stand. Help me apply Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


  1. Great words of wisdom, Maria. Our sin nature always wants to get a "closer look."

    We are either always thinking we are stronger than we are, or we are too desensitized to sin to even recognize it.

    Have a blessed week!

  2. James 1 says that our sin happens when we are enticed and carried away by our own desires.

    I think of it as one of those nets that hunters used to trap large animals. The net would be camouflaged on the ground with something desired in the center of it. The trap wouldn't be effective at all if it was obvious! We can usually be sure that our enticements will seem innocent on the onset, as well.

    Just like the poor animal would give in to the desire, our sin occurs when we give in. The net carries us off with the enticement - giving birth to sin and bringing forth death according to James.

    But thanks for the reminder that the Spirit whispers foreboding to us, even when the enticement seems quite ordinary. I find, if I don't make a practice of listening, I can miss the hints sometimes.

  3. Wow! i needed this! thank you for the reminder of what i NEED to do!

  4. Been there, done that, have the new garage door to show for it. And now a great lesson that goes with it thanks to your post:)

  5. Michelle - Great to see you! Appreciate your insightful comment, "We are either always thinking we are stronger than we are, or we are too desensitized to sin to even recognize it." Shows us our need to stay on our toes - always watchful and alert! Have a blessed week full of victory!

  6. Marji - Love your visual description of falling into the trap of sin. James has a way of helping us understand our sin nature and those things that tempt us, doesn't he?! Like you, I'm thankful that the Holy Spirit warns us. I just need to be tuned in so I can look for the way of escape He provides and take it! Have a very blessed week!

    *I finally got the award posted that you so graciously gave me! Thanks again!! :)

  7. Well done. ;) Love it.

  8. Warren - Thanks for stopping by! Appreciate your kind words. I must say, a couple of selections from your book inspired this post (the one about Steve Irwin and the one about your encounter with the mountain lion). As soon as I hit the frame of the garage door, your words of wisdom came to mind! Have a great week. God bless!

  9. KC - Glad this post encouraged you! I've had lots of opportunities to think about this topic - every time I drive my car! Tomorrow I'm going to have the headlight washer replaced. But I'm sure I'll remember the lesson long after the repair. Have a great week. Hugs and Blessings!

  10. Susan - Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has done this! A new garage door, huh? Did you back into yours? Good to hear you can at least smile about it now! Enjoy your day. Hugs and God bless! :)

    *Thanks again for the Liebster Blog Award! I've finally added it to my site!

  11. Momma Hughes - Thanks so much for stopping by Life Lessons! I always consider it a privilege when someone new stops by AND leaves a comment! Look forward to visiting your site. Have a wonderful day and God bless!

  12. Hi Maria. Sorry to hear about the garage door. Yowzee! I have a tendency to "bump" into the front of our garage. I put my hubby's golf clubs on the front wall to keep me from bumping through the wall into our dining room. That seemed to do the trick. lol

    Congrats on the Liebster Blog award!

  13. Oh, Maria! I feel your pain! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one running into things. ;-) Last week my husband got a new car to commute to work. I drove it to church, then to pick up lunch afterwards. Well, in my desire to park FAR AWAY from all other cars, so that it wouldn't get dinged or scratched, I scraped about three inches of the rim on the curb, and took a little chunk of the tire out. I too, was "way too close." :( :::sigh::: The car only had 75 miles on it, and needless to say, I was devastated. Hubby reassured me that it was okay, no need to worry, but boy did I feel awful. And now with a little silver touch up paint, you can hardly notice it. ;-)

    But truly, thank you for sharing this story. I appreciate the insight and wisdom that you've shared here.

    Sweet Blessings,

  14. This example really hits home.I have taken those closer chances a few times and then like you,wished I could do a rewind. I think we all need to listen a little closer.

  15. Dora - Welcome to Life Lessons! So glad you stopped by. Sounds like the golf clubs did the trick for you! We have our window screens at the front of our garage and that tends to help me remember not to pull in too far - or I'm sure I'd have the same problem! Seems my depth perception is becoming more challenged as the years go by. Have a great week. God bless!

  16. Michelle - Welcome to Life Lessons! Thanks for taking time to drop by and comment! Oh, your car experience makes me cringe - you were trying your hardest to be extra careful and ended up with a mishap anyway. Ugh! Sounds like your husband was very forgiving! My husband was the same way! Aren't we blessed?! Hope you have a fantastic week, full of God's blessing!

  17. Terri - So good to see you! Over the last four years, I'm sure the enemy has tried to tempt you and your husband to give up on the Lord - trying to convince you that the Lord wasn't hearing your prayers. Although you may have been tempted to take that closer look, it's so good to hear an encouraging story like yours! I know the Lord will bless you for staying faithful through your struggle. Have a beautiful week. Hugs and God bless! :)

  18. "Being aware of what tempts me is important". That is so true Maria, once we know where our weakness is, we will be able to recognize temptations in their smallest form.
    Great post! Blessings.

  19. Hi Maria -

    I had a similar experience except I hit another car. Thankfully, neither driver was hurt and we were able to drive the cars. Just before I pulled out of my parking space, I had this feeling I should wait even though I'd looked first.

    Being sensitive to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit will save us a lot of oops moments.