Hiding Behind Trees
By Peter Lundell –
I was walking by a junior high school physical education class and saw two boys hiding behind trees. The trees were six inches in diameter, maybe less. Anyone who looked their way would have seen these boys looking like fools trying to hide behind skinny trees. I stopped and stared at them, partly to make them nervous, but mainly for my own entertainment. Amazingly no one in the class noticed them, or maybe they did and paid no attention. The whistle blew and the boys ran out as if they’d participated all along.
Ding-a-lings. They might have felt good about succeeding in their little scheme, but I wonder if they’re taking little steps in a lifetime pattern of avoidance. I hope I’m overreacting here.
Yet it struck me that people can live their whole lives that way—hiding in the open and pretending to participate. Or not even bothering to pretend and always being spectators. Confession: I’ve done it, probably more times than I’d care to inventory.
How do we do this? By watching and listening without doing. By procrastinating on an idea until it fades. By learning and talking about something without putting it into practice. We’ve all “hidden behind trees” in some way.
My concern is that we fully engage with the life we’ve been given—rather than make ourselves comfortable and let life pass us by.
My deeper concern is that we fully engage with the spiritual life God offers us—rather than get complacent and let God’s promises and possibilities pass us by.
We all engage differently. But whatever we do, it will cost us time and energy and sometimes money. It takes effort and may involve risk. But it will be worth it. Always. And for eternity.
PRAYER: Lord, rebuke me if I ever hide behind trees. Lead me to engage in the world, to be a living temple of Your Spirit in the world around me.
“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him” (Matthew 9:9, NIV).
Today’s devotion is by Peter Lundell, author of the award-winning book Prayer Power. A rising new voice on connecting with God, Lundell is a pastor, Bible college teacher, and conference speaker. Visit him at www.PeterLundell.com for his inspirational “Connections” and free downloads of articles, parables, short stories, and book chapters.