Sometimes all we need is a near miss.

“Keep ALERT at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to ESCAPE from all these coming evils.”

Jesus

If you work at a large company in the U.S. you are most likely familiar with OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA’s purpose is to ensure safety in the workplace by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training and assistance. Part of OSHA’s requirements include reporting events that result in injury, illness, and property damage. For this reason, many businesses have safety policies in place that encourage employees to report not only actual accidents but also all near miss incidents. OSHA defines a near miss as “an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so.”

For the most part, I am quite alert when driving, but there have been times that I have experienced a near miss on the road after a long day’s work. The twenty five to forty minute drive back home can easily trigger a nap sequence with uncontrollable yawning countdowns. Hence, the abrupt breaks and swirls! These near-accidents are all I need to get my adrenaline going and keep me sober and focused for the remainder of my drive.

The truth is that we ALL encounter near miss situations in life. I have honestly lost count of the times I have been spared from an injury or perhaps even a fatal blow because of an unexpected or self-provoked near miss. But, I can tell you about the few times I have actually felt like an invisible force/hand pulling me out of harms way. And while some people may be quick to call it luck and dismiss any supernatural intervention, I choose to believe it was divine providence. In other words, God intervening by way of angels or a quickening of the Spirit because His complete plan for my earthly life has yet to be fulfilled. Can you relate?

Besides scaring the living daylights out of us, near misses should cause us to “wake up” and become more aware of our surroundings. When we go about living haphazardly, ignoring warning signs, and taking safety for granted, we risk injuring not only ourselves but others. Sometimes fatally!

The same can be said of our spiritual life. Many times we encounter near misses in our faith walk. It all begins when we take God’s Word for granted and don’t spend time reading, studying, and applying it. As a result, we trip and get tangled up in our religious rituals believing that they alone can sustain us. We slip when we ignore God tugging at our hearts when we face a morally compromising situation. And, we skid off track when we focus more on our careers, bank accounts, looks, and even social media than on our relationship with our heavenly Father. These spiritual near misses should serve as eye-openers; reckoning moments that help us become more alert and keep us from falling and getting hurt by sin.

Yes, sometimes all we need is a spiritual near miss to help us refocus on what truly matters in life; our walk with God and being a light in a dark and depraved world. However, if we discipline ourselves by following God’s instructions to pray and be watchful at all times, “Then we will walk in our path securely and our feet will not stumble.” – Proverbs 3:23

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