Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sniper Alert

When I was a young(er) woman, my roommate and I decided to go to San Francisco to have dinner and see a show. We lived in Santa Clara, a little less than an hour from the city. As we left the restaurant, we noticed something strange. Not one person was on the street! Very unusual for what's typically a very busy area. We were walking along, commenting on how strange this was, when out of nowhere we were grabbed by a policeman, who quickly brought us into the outside foyer of a store. "What's the matter with you?" He exclaimed. We were still in a sort of stupor from being accosted and now we were confused to boot! "Don't you know there's a sniper up there?" He pointed to a tall building a few blocks away. Say WHAT???? 

"Stay here. Don't move," he instructed. Then he left, presumably to find more errant theatre-goers to save and confuse. "How long do we have to stay here?" we wondered. Meanwhile, we saw people scurrying from storefront foyer to storefront foyer, trying to get to where they needed to go without getting shot. We were 19 years old, and all 19 year olds are indestructible and fearless, so we decided we weren't staying anywhere. We started moving along surreptitiously, as if we were in a movie. It sort of felt like we were. 

The show was cancelled, so we only needed to get back to the parking lot, which was a few blocks over. We got around the corner well enough, where the stores blocked the vision of the sniper (by the way, we never once heard a shot). The hard part was getting across the street to the parking lot, which was in full view of the building he was in. 

Being fearless and indestructible, we made a run for it. My roommate began running oddly, in a sort of zig-zag pattern. I started laughing, as my heart was pounding in fear. "What are you doing?" I yelled. "That's how they do it on TV," she yelled back. "If you don't run in a straight line, it's harder for the shooter to aim."

We did get to the car and safely home. But that zig-zag thing always stayed with me. I can still see her doing that, and the laughter broke what was a serious and possibly life-threatening moment. 

Satan is like a sniper, isn't he? He sits in his corner office at Black Bear Investigators, LLC and watches. Be sober and alert. Your enemy, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). The difference is that he actually tries to get us to run in a zig-zag pattern, to deter us from our path.

God makes our path clear to us when we spend time with Him, and stay grounded in His Word. It's when we begin to stray, and let our time with Him slip by one day, then the next, then the next...our bible sits on the nightstand unopened. The ways of the world begin to seep in and the ways of God begin to slowly fade. That's when we start zig-zagging. And that's when our enemy, the sniper, takes aim. Unlike a human sniper, he prefers his targets to be running haphazardly through life, not really paying attention. 

He shoots his poison arrows into our souls and entices us back to the ways of the world. We don't really feel any pain because we've already begun to become desensitized; it's insidious. He's not stupid. He knows exactly what our weaknesses are and knows exactly where to shoot. 

Wikipedia defines a sniper as "a highly trained marksman, who operates...to maintain close visual contact with the enemy and engage targets from concealed positions..."

We are satan's enemy. He has thousands of years of training and he maintains close visual
contact with us in his concealed position, up in his corner office of Black Bear Investigations, LLC. To coin a phrase, "we never knew what hit us."

We need to stay sober and alert and recognize when we start running haphazardly, in a zig-zag pattern. When the ways of the world become more appealing than the ways of Christ, we know we need to run...in a straight line...back to the throne and fall at His feet, where we are always welcomed and embraced.

Don't let the sniper get you today!

Blessings Along the Path,
Mary

Song/Video of the Day
I Belong to Jesus (Dennis Jernigan)...when I started watching this video, I thought it wasn't quite what I wanted to convey, but wait until you see the end!

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