Time Busters: Naked and Out of Control. Real Living, Part 11

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My oldest son and I had just been dropped at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park at Key Largo, Florida where we would spend the morning snorkelling off of the Florida Keys. My wife and my other son were on their way to swim with dolphins, about 10 km farther up the road, and I had left everything except my bathing suit, towel and snorkelling gear in the car. As a result, I had no wallet, no credit cards, no identity, no keys, no car, not even a single dime.

It didn't strike me as strange at first, but while we were waiting to check in, I was suddenly overcome with panic. I felt completely naked and totally out of control of my circumstances. I mean, what if my wife got in an accident? I wouldn't be able to help her. What if my son got hurt and had to be taken to the hospital? I wouldn't even be able to contact my wife. What if our boat sank? What if

Wow. All of these "What ifs" now make me realize what a real moron I was! But at the time, as I was going through each of these scenarios, I became more and more tense and less and less sociable.

All of a sudden I came back to my senses and pushed these trivial concerns to the side. I realized, to my dismay, that I was taking the devil's bait and entering the dark side. Praise God that He sent His Spirit to help me realize what kind of danger I was in! Had I ignored Him, I would have been a basket case for the remainder of the day. I would have been useless to the Kingdom of God! I would have wasted my time as well as wasted the time of others!

We did eventually take the boat, and it took us miles off the coast. There we had the opportunity to snorkel to our hearts' content around a small coral reef filled with a multitude of beautiful fish. I befriended a particular school of fish. I called them "Zebra Fish", as they had lively bands of black and yellow all over their body. I would later learn that they were actually called Sergeant Majors, though they were quite different from the sergeant majors I know of! These colourful fish followed me around as if I was part of their school. This brightened my day, for who wouldn't be delighted by being followed around by sergeant majors!

Had I dwelled on the path of panic, I would have been a grump. I would have likely swallowed lots of sea water, gone back to the boat, and never had a chance to realize what beauty was all around me. We have a daily choice to make: Will we let our circumstances dominate us, or will we trust in the Lord? One will fill us with panic, the other with inner peace. One will make us useless, the other will help us see where God is giving us the opportunity to join Him at His work.

"'ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances." (Phil 4:11 The Message)

"I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace." (John 16:33)

"Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good." (Rom 12:21 The Message)

"But what about who will water my plants while I am away?"

Even with this, God can help you: "The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living." (Heb 11:1 The Message)

In whom will you put your trust?

Rob Chaffart

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