The sidewalk in front of the house has a patch that quickly turns into a skating rink … but far more treacherous than a rink because it doesn’t freeze smoothly, but rather like a relief map of some mountainous country complete with ruts and ridges.
I’m not sure where the water-turned-to-ice comes from, but no matter how well the sidewalk is shoveled, the icy patch shows up. I cannot tell you how many times we have chipped ice from the walk.
This past storm was no different and actually a little more treacherous than most because we had a brief warm day when some of the snow melted and then the weather got colder – and the ice appeared thicker than usual.
For three straight days I dumped salt on it and although it had pockmarks of thaw, it did not completely solve the problem.
With new determination – today I decided I would chip away and see if I could finally break through. I started out carefully because I knew the walk was deceptively slippery.
But in spite of my care, I lost my balance … but fortunately caught it again before sliding to the hard cement.
After that I was even more careful, taking tiny steps and carefully maneuvering the ice chipper and the shovel.
I had to smile. If anyone was watching me, they would think I was crazy, with my tiny, mincing steps and ultra care navigating the ice.
And then I thought of that verse in Ephesians about walking carefully. (Yes, I really thought about Ephesians while chipping away ice.) “Walking carefully” is easily understandable, but in this case I like the King James word better: walking circumspectly.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. (Ephesians 5:15)
Circumspectly means diligently, accurately, carefully, and very much looking around and watching where you put your feet.
Ken always described it as a cat walking across a fence.
But today it seemed to perfectly describe me chipping ice off the sidewalk while attempting to keep my balance. (By the way, Ephesians 5 is the same chapter that tells us to give thanks in all things, to redeem the time, to be conscious of the Lord’s will …}
I thought about how carefully I was standing on that ice and I wondered if I am that careful (circumspect) when it comes to making wise choices in my every day life. Am I making sure that the decisions I make are God’s will (agreeing with what He says in His Word).
Seems often we are in a hurry and make impulsive decisions, or decisions based on what those around us want or belief in, or decisions that bring us the most pleasure or entertainment. None of these things are wrong – sometimes impulsive decisions are the right ones, sometimes the people around us do give us good advice, and sometimes relaxing with good entertainment is worthwhile. But when these things become more important than checking out God’s Word and then walking circumspectly so we can make wise choices, we have a problem.
We then walk un-circumspectly.
Think about the cat walking across a fence.
Or think about me, gingerly cracking the ice on the sidewalk and trying not to fall and break my leg or worse.
And then envelope your Christian walk with diligence, with care, with alertness to what is around you, with wisdom … all while watching where you put your feet.