In a land long ago and far away of another life, I wore a badge, carried a gun, and clad my feet in boots of thick black leather. The badge left a permanent thin blue line in the blood, the gun weighed heavily upon an indelible bruise, and the spit shine atop the boots belied the soil embedded in the tire tread.
Though my feet roasted all summer and were more cold than comfortable in winter, I refused to trade in over-the-calf protection and thick soles for the black sneakers or Thinsulate favored by some officers. No footwear could make the rare foot chase my strength, while everyday police work regularly took me into dark field and indoor debris which required more attention to arena than topography.
Thought of walking in rough terrain came to mind on a recent day, when I donned boots to crush the budding wasps nests I knocked down along our eaves. A couple of hours later I found myself driving across the bad side of town on an unexpected errand of assistance. When I stepped into the kind of building more familiar in the time I pledged “to serve and to protect,” I thanked God that I happened to be wearing thick soles.
"Take care lest you forget the LORD your God … when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses … "
~ Deuteronomy 8:11-12 (ESV)
Nestled in my comfortable nest of nearly grown babies and online co-workers, I sometimes forget the land where squatters and dopers inhabit charred shells of abandoned mansions, where overgrown city parks conceal dead bodies and two-footed predators.
I sometimes forget the severity and proximity of spiritual famine.
In the Bible, famine regularly followed the forgetfulness of prosperity. When Jesus noted how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, He stated the obvious. History has proven, time and time again, that wealth induces memory loss. The more we are insulated from need, the more we are inclined to forget our Provider until the day destitution overtakes us.
Give me neither poverty nor riches
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny You,
And say, "Who is the LORD?"
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God.
~ Proverbs 30:8-9 (NKJV)
Where lie your riches? What is your food? Whether financial, intellectual, emotional, healthful, influential, or relational, they hold the potential to pilfer your attention and reliance from God.
Drawing a blank on names and faces, failing to remember why you walked downstairs, and realizing that an important deadline has passed on are annoying forms of memory loss. They pale beside the memory loss that forgets to depend on God for everything from the next meal
Every step we take is in a world of rough terrain—not the topography of danger to body, but the arena of comfort which insulates us from hunger for God.
Infinite, almighty God, we desperately need You. Please open our eyes to spiritual destitution, whether within us or surrounding us. Let us not forget You, for even a moment.
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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