Tripping on Cracks

Proverbs 4:26 Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.

We live in the midwest. (That’s my claim, anyway. Although according to those Midwest bloggers at the Barn Door, I’m out of the “zone.”) But we get nasty blizzards, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and have hot, humid summers. I’ve even seen a few Toto’s running around our neighborhood. To me, a native westerner, all signs of the Midwest. We’ve also got the beautiful deciduous trees with thick trunks and branches. Which means, we’ve got roots–the ones that wiggle beneath sidewalks, uplifting big chunks of cement. These ruts and raises turn an easy jog into quite an obstacle course.

Most times I navigate over the bumps and crevices with no problem, but every once in a while, when I’m tired or lost in thought, the raised cement catches me off guard and sends me flying. Not a pretty sight. In fact, I’ve been known to stop traffic, and not in a good way. (Nothing like seeing a thirtysomething howl like a toddler before falling prostrate on the cement. Yep. Attractive.) So I pick myself up off the ground, tell the gawkers I’m okay, and glance back at the mammoth boulder I tripped over. Heat sears my cheeks as I realize I stumbled over not a boulder, but the tiniest of cracks.

After one particularly embarrassing fall, I decided to choose my route a bit more carefully. I forewent the raised slabs of cement, opting for a smooth roadway instead.

I think our spiritual life is like this sometimes. Often we can traipse through life without a bump or a stumble. During those times, it’s easy to get over-confident. Sin will never happen to us. We’re strong. But then, when we least expect it, we trip over a bump in the road. Might not even be a big bump. But it’s big enough to send us flying.

God knows this about us and has provided warnings in His Word, like the one quoted at the beginning of this post. He wants us to choose level paths–to live with intentionality. This level path we choose might look different for each of us. If we struggle with drinking, it means no hanging out in bars. If we struggle with impure thoughts, we probably need to avoid many of today’s secular novels, movies, and television shows. If we struggle with disinterment, we might need to toss out those clothing catalogs. If we struggle with gossip, we might need to be selective about who we spend our time with. I know. Sounds restrictive. Perhaps even unnecessary, but take it from a fellow pavement-eater, choosing level paths is much more pleasant than loosing skin.

What about you? Any rerouting God might want to do in your life? Maybe you’ve already made a hard right, veering on a new, smooth course. We’d love to hear about it. Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about ways to avoid that rather embarrassing fall.


  1. Great thoughts here, Jen! It’s easy to get over-confident and end up flat on my face. Reminds me of the verse in Proverbs, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (16:18). Controlling my spending when there are big sales is one thing I need to work on!

  2. Yes, when you want something to grow, you feed it. When you want it to die, you starve it. Thank you for a super blog-post.

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