Somewhere along the walking and cycling path beside the railway line there is a noticeable hole in the asphalt. Cyclists may be thrown a bit off track if their wheels unexpectedly drop into the hole, but they normally don’t have a significant problem to correct their course quickly. But for people on small-wheeled vehicles the hole can be treacherous. Rip-stik, skateboard and scooter users have all been sent flying onto the pavement after the wheels dropped into the hole.
The hole is on our daily way to school. Both of our older children have had unfortunate encounters with the hole. “Remember the hole”, we often say as we make our way along the path. Now and then this was a shout “The hole!” as a last-minute warning. Sometimes it is too late, sometimes the children can escape the consequences. Sometimes we are caught up in conversation or are battling the elements so that we don’t look out for the hole and a child is caught in its clutches, resulting in bruises and many tears.
I wonder whether in our lives there are things that we know will trip us up. Do we guard against them? Is it during the particularly good or stormy times that we suddenly don’t pay attention? Maybe we occasionally need some helpers who warn us of the oncoming danger, who remember the things that trip us up?
For our children the hole does not loom large on the way to school, but we need to remember it is there. The things that trip us up should not loom large in our lives, but we need to be conscious of them. It is good to have some accountability so that we deal with them properly. We may even have to put in some more deliberate safeguards so that we are not thrown off course. It also may be a point of prayer that God will draw our attention to the hazards in our lives and gives us strength to keep us on the right way.