Be mindful of each step you take in life. Do not be distracted by worries or the deceitfulness of wealth. Hold tightly to the handrails that God gives us: prayer; help from followers of the Way of Jesus; and wisdom from the words of Jesus.
During my pilgrimage to the Promised Land, I learned wisdom as I climbed down so many stairs, step by step!
Mindfulness was especially important—but difficult—when the staircase allowed me to see around it and beneath it.
This happened most often when touring archaeological sites. Many of the stairs were made with “perforated” metal steps (perhaps to give better traction and keep rainwater from forming a puddle on the step?).
Step by step. That was the only way to use the stairs safely.
Focus on each step!
Keep my eyes from looking at the distractions beneath me. Don’t even let my eyes and my attention drift to the many steps that were yet to come!
Keep my eyes and my attention focused solely on the next step.
I reflected that such a focus solely on the next step in my life is the wise way to walk through the ups and downs of life.
And, of course, always keep at least one hand tightly holding the handrail!
Jesus himself taught us this wisdom.
Focus on what must be done each and every day. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:34).
Do not be distracted by worries.
Do not be distracted by running after wealth. Do not be distracted by the deceitfulness of wealth because you’re worrying: “What shall I eat?”, “What shall I drink?” and “What shall I wear?”.
Our Heavenly Father knows that we need these things. But we should not run after them. (Matthew 6:25-34).
Instead, we should pray that our Heavenly Father will give food, drink and clothing to us. (Matthew 6:11,25-34).
We should live our lives step-by-step, focusing on the narrow steps that carry us toward the Kingdom of God and his righteousness! (Matthew 7:13-14; 6:33).
Be mindful of each step. (James 2:10).
Mind the gaps! The phrase “Mind the gap!” Is familiar to anyone who rides the subway (the Tube) in London. A loudspeaker repeats this mantra each time people enter and exit the subway car, cautioning everyone to be careful not to step into the gap between the car and the platform.
Do not be blinded by hypocrisy. Remove the plank from your own eye before botching your attempt to remove specks of sawdust from other people’s eyes. (Matthew 7:3-5).
Trust our Heavenly Father! (Psalm 23).
Be mindful of handrails given to us by our Heavenly Father!
The Handrail of Prayers to our Heavenly Father. (Matthew 6:9-13).
As Jesus said:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened unto you. (Matthew 7:7).
And as James, the brother of Jesus, wrote:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5).
The Handrail of Help from followers of the Way of Jesus.
As Paul wrote:
Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do good for each other and everyone else.
The Handrail of Wisdom from the words of Jesus.
As Jesus said at the end of his Sermon on the Mount:
[E]veryone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise [person] who built [their] house on the rock. [Like a wise person who holds tight to the handrail!] The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish [person] who built [their] house on sand. [Like a foolish person who does not hold tightly to the handrail!] The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; and it fell with a great crash.
Such a “house” built by anyone who does not put the words of Jesus into practice suffers a “great crash”—like the crash of someone crashing down the stairs because they didn’t focus step-by-step, didn’t mind the gaps, and didn’t hold tightly to the handrail.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
In your life, when have you been distracted by worries and the deceitfulness of wealth? How? Why?
In your life, when did you fall with a “great crash” because you did not put the words of Jesus into practice? How? Why?
For more of my thoughts arising from the Sermon on the Mount, please read my blog “Building Houses on Rock: Mission Impossible?”.
For other blogs arising from my pilgrimage to the Promised Land, please read my blogs “The Immense, Towering Rock Overcomes the ‘Gates of Hell’”, “Moving the Temple Mount”, “Come and See the Promised Land: Desolations”, “Come and See the Promised Land: A Place of Abundance”, “Come and See the Promised Land: Where Jesus Stayed”, “Come and See the Promised Land: Jesus of Nazareth”, “Come and See the Promised Land: Jesus Weeping”, “Come and See the Promised Land: Jesus Praying”, “Come and See the Promised Land: The Crucifixion of Jesus”, “Come and See the Promised Land: The Burial of Jesus, the Suffering Servant”, and “Come and See the Promised Land: The Resurrection of Jesus”.