THE DRUNK GUY IN THE ORANGE LEISURE SUIT

In his handsMy 2 boys and I went to the grocery store for a few things the other day.  We had a great time just being boys and making a mess of the free cookies that the store offers.

As we were leaving, I noticed this dude standing by the door.  It caught me by surprise.  He had an orange leisure suit on and he was wobbling something terrible…..obviously intoxicated in some way.  He was talking pretty loudly to others coming in and out of the store.  He had the look as if he could do something really stupid at any minute.  It was our turn to walk by….so we proceeded, attempting to ignore his glassy-eyed stare coming from our right and we hurriedly made our way to the truck.

The guy was following people around a bit, getting in their space.  We were parked too close for comfort.  I firmly grasped my oldest son’s shoulders and threw him in the backseat and told him to buckle up…he looked confused.  I quickly buckled my youngest into his car seat and we were ready to roll.

My boys had no idea that there was the possibility of danger or confrontation.  They were in their own worlds, thinking about what book to read when we got home and what juice was available to drink.

If I were by myself, I wouldn’t be concerned with this guy.  My boys were with me though and it’s my job to look out for them.  I felt the need to protect them, to get them in the truck as soon as possible, to shelter them from the possibility of harm.

I can’t help but relate this to everyday life….to our relationship with God.  So often, we wander around, trying to do what’s best.  Instead of thinking about books or juice, we’re preoccupied with our phones, Facebook, accomplishments and worry.  Our heads are in the sand sometimes, and God has been known to grasp our shoulders firmly and place us in a different spot…..He does this because He loves us and wants to protect us from harm.

God protects us in many ways….He uses people, circumstances, words, successes, failures, you name it.  He’s pretty creative.

Just like my son, we become confused.  We don’t understand why things are happening.  Instead of being thankful for His provision, we sink back in fear, pull the overs over our faces and cry out “why?!”  It’s so easy to fall into this pattern….you know, challenging God, wanting to know the answers…never knowing that circumstances are in place not to harm us, but to protect us.  Trust is a tough pill to swallow, but we’re called to do it.

Once we were in the truck, I explained to my oldest why I threw him in his seat the way I did.  I was caught off guard by what he said….it was something like, “thanks dad for protecting us.”  I said something like, “no problem dude, it’s my job to protect you.”

So many times, I’ve looked back and I can see God’s hand on my circumstances.  Unfortunately it’s typically a few years down the road…..trusting in the present can often be a daily challenge.  I’m trying to poise my shoulders for God’s strong grip, trusting that He will place me where He needs me.  I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

Where have you seen God’s protection over your life?  Did it make sense at the time?

God Bless,

Paul

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