As I walked around our property on Friday, I stumbled on a root protruding on our lane. Actually I almost took a complete fall, but was able to readjust and remain upright. I immediately thanked God for protecting me from my own clumsiness. I had been admiring the woods and not paying any attention to what lay in my path. As I continued on with my daily exercise, I reminded myself that I needed to pay better attention to what was in my path. My near accident also caused me to think of the stumbling blocks that confront us in our Christian walk. One incident in particular came to mind.

A few years ago, I was unhappy with the leadership at our church. Others were also disgruntled with the situation. I thought I had learned from a previous mishap in church life not to get involved in group complaints and look to God to take care of the problems. Unfortunately I still had a friend who was urging me to get more involved and complain verbally or in writing. Each time I prayed and asked God for guidance I was directed to scripture, mostly in Proverbs. It encouraged me to remain silent and let God work it out. I would relate this to my friend, usually to no avail. I held out for quite some time. Then one Sunday after church I made the mistake of taking her phone call and listening to the latest “problem” in leadership. Well, I got hooked! I jumped on the bandwagon, either forgetting or ignoring what God had repeatedly told me. I complained to the Staff/Parish committee both verbally and in writing. I was furious and determined to do everything I could to fix this problem. I was going to get involved and see that wrongs were made right. Hindsight is always best, but I never should have taken this matter to heart. God had directed me not to do so and given me scripture to back it up. Why did I do it? My focus was shifted from God to myself. He is in control, He is the judge and He will right the wrongs as He sees fit. It was a moment of weakness and I don’t blame this friend. I was responsible for my actions, but I see now that I acted out of anger and without thinking. I should have prayed again for guidance and gone to His Word for reinforcement, but just like Eve I decided that I could handle it.

As I proceed on my Christian walk, I ask God to help me maintain my focus on Him, His Word, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and prayer. I need to heed the Book of James, Chapter 1, verse 19 to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. It takes patience and self control to deal with everyday problems, but when I focus on God and look at life in terms of eternity and what really matters I remember to guard my tongue and have faith in God. He will work things out for the best.