Be Alert

I went to pick up the kids from the summer camp bus yesterday afternoon in the blistering heat.
I had to walk across a baking black-top parking lot to get them… and I forgot to take my shoes!

Immediately, I felt like I was 10 years old again… playing and pretending that the ground was ‘hot lava’ and I couldn’t touch it (although this time I wasn’t playing or pretending). I skipped, hopped, and tip-toed across that lot… making use of every white-painted line, and every bit of shade. All this suffering because I didn’t bring my shoes.

It’s not like I forget my shoes often… in fact, I never do! You will never find me at the bank, or church, or out to dinner without my shoes. So, why this time? And what does it have to do with wisdom?

Thinking about it, I was out of my routine. I had spent the afternoon reading and relaxing in the cool air-conditioning of my house (rather than running from place to place and meeting to meeting). The world was out of its routine too… it was very hot! These two things combined to wreak havoc on my feet and make me feel a little bit dumb 🙂

It’s like the line in Proverbs (1:32):

For waywardness kills the simple,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;

OK… so it’s a little much for something like forgetting shoes on a hot day, but… consider this: One afternoon, not long ago, I was walking out of someone’s house to my car parked on a quiet side street. I was out of my routine. I was reading something the person had given me as I walked out into the street (without looking!) to get into my car. A newspaper delivery truck… (out of his routine) obviously late, or lost, and speeding, whizzed by… literally inches from running me over. I was a single step away from death.

The same thing was at work in both cases… I was ‘wayward’ and ‘complacent’ for just a brief time. But, that could have been all the time it took.

The first rule of safety and security… is perhaps the first rule of wisdom as well:

Be Alert!