As a bird rushing into a snare, not knowing it would cost his life.
Often things are not what they seem. Take, for example, an advertisement for a mouth-watering hot fudge sundae from a favorite ice cream store. The photograph is so realistic, it's as if we could lick the whipped cream right off the page. Yet what has really been photographed is not a real hot fudge sundae, but a conglomeration of various objects that will withstand the heat of the lights during the photography session.
Much that is attractive to us in life is not good for us, and in fact, may even diminish or destroy our life. While we know this intellectually, sometimes we find ourselves hastening to something that we know is dangerous for us and later wonder why we feel like we're struggling just to breathe faint wisps of air. Sometimes we are like the bird hurrying unsuspectingly into the snare because we are single-mindedly attracted to the bait and can't seem to notice any troublesome side effects. Sometimes we want the bait so badly, we are prepared to forfeit a piece of our lives, feeling confident that we can later retrieve it. Sometimes we use stealth to enter the snare, enjoying the adventure and thrill of danger. And sometime we are just unaware and sleepy and find ourselves in a place we don't want to be, wondering how we got there.
Not all that is attractive will snare us or demand a slice of our life. But, it is wise to keep our eyes open, our desires in check, our focus rightly placed, and our need for thrill and excitement guarded lest we find ourselves trapped so tightly that life is squeezed from us against our will. All things are not what they seem, but as the movement and meaning of life unfolds, we are invited to taste and savor it with full breath and full joy. We don't want to miss it because we were errantly wooed into a snare that costs us that very life.
O God, let me wake to the wonder of the unfolding of life that is real, that gives breath rather than snatches it away.
These meditations written by Renee Miller first appeared at www.explorefaith.org
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