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Watch Your Step

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was founded in 1971. Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to help protect the Nation’s workers on the job. This bill led to the creation of OSHA one year later to set and regulate safety standards. OSHA is the reason why signs like Watch Your Step exist today. Unfortunately, when the government is allowed to micromanage every step you take at work, human beings aren’t able or allowed to freely exercise common sense.

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [[f]in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same ([g]identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world, 1 Peter 5:8-9.

I don’t see myself as clumsy, but I sure do find my share of dips, holes, and roots that I trip over and fall into every month. When I was 16, falling into one particular hole altered my athletic career and changed my life. I was running cross country against the two boys that finished one two in the state meet my senior year. This hole was hidden by a pile of leaves, making it invisible to me. Just behind the lead pack with a mile to go, I twisted my ankle, kept running and ripped my ankle bone out of its socket.

But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). 17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. 18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law, Galatians 5:16-18.

Following my surgery, I was forced to wear a soft cast for 4 years to protect my ankle. While I did recover physically, I never reached my full potential as an athlete. In college I stumbled upon Psalm 18:33 that I turned into a prayer every time that I went running. This one incident makes me cautious every time I visit a park. Watch your step has a new meaning to me as I have suffered the consequences of talking a bad step. If you want to avoid future holes and pitfalls in life, incorporate these verses into a daily prayer.

by Jay Mankus

Missing the Mark

During my first year attending Boy Scout Camp, I was introduced to the rifle range.  Although I had uncles who were hunters, I was never exposed to shooting a weapon until high school.  Since I was right handed, I assumed that the same would be true for hitting the target.  Unfortunately, I failed miserably, missing the mark with every shot.  After 2 identical results, the instructor informed me that I was left handed, identifying a dominant left eye.  This was the piece of information I needed to finally start hitting the target on a consistent basis.

In life, another way of expressing missing the mark is to say you have sinned.  Whenever someone makes a mistake, you essentially fail to meet your goal or objective.  These errors can be explained by a careless, clumsy or freakish occurrence.  Sometimes people don’t follow the instructions while others were never trained or told how to do a certain task.  When this happens, citizens need instructors to enter their lives to provide the guidance required to begin hitting the mark, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Instead of having a bulls’ eye with point totals for each circle, the target I am referring to is located on a less traveled road, Matthew 7:14.  Once you reach this area, the rules change as described by Jesus, Matthew 16:24-27.

Mark 1: Deny yourself, becoming a servant to others, Matthew 20:27-28.

Mark 2: Keep your eyes on the cross, the symbol of Jesus’ victory over death, 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.

Mark 3: Follow God where the Holy Spirit leads you, John 21:18.

Once you’re able to narrow in and begin to focus on this spiritual target, success will follow.  Though you will not obtain a perfect score, the fruits of your labor will appear, Galatians 5:22.  Don’t be discouraged like I was when I first started this journey.  Rather, develop the right mindset to persevere for the long haul, 1 Timothy 6:11-12.  Despite how many times you fail, keep practicing until the Instructor calls you home.

by Jay Mankus

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