Links Daily Devotional

Situational Awareness

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8, ESV)

The Masters is played on a big golf course, but there are places where the holes are in fairly close proximity. That is why a player on one hole may wait before putting while a player on a completely different hole hits his tee shot. The players are aware of what is going on around them, and they don’t want a sudden roar from the crowd disturbing their concentration.

Contrast that with Joyce Wethered, who won the English Ladies’ Championship five years in a row. At the first of those, in 1920, she was preparing to putt at the seventeenth when a train roared past. She continued on and made the putt for the victory. Later when she was asked if the train had disturbed her, she answered, “What train?”

I suppose no golfer has the situational awareness of fictional special agent Jason Bourne, but the best competitive golfers understand what is going on around them. They don’t just know which way the wind is blowing, they have a deep sense of the day, their game, who is watching, and how the crowd is responding. They know that some roars can be completely ignored, and some roars can’t.

Have you heard the roar of the devil? If you have taken Peter’s words in today’s verse to heart, then perhaps you have. Perhaps spiritual situational awareness is something you have practiced, or at least picked up on through the years. But too many of us don’t hear the danger.

Peter himself did not hear it when the roar sounded like a servant-girl identifying him as one of Jesus’ followers, so his caution to us in his letter comes from experience. And I confess that the devil has taken a mouthful or two out of me, more than once because I simply was not being watchful.

It would be great to play golf with the focus of Joyce Wethered, who knew the train could be dismissed while the play of her opponent could not. It would be cool to have the awareness of Jason Bourne. But we’d be far better served to be what Peter recommends: spiritually watchful. That takes practice, but as I stitch up my latest bite mark I can tell you this: It’s worth it.

Lewis Greer
May 4, 2015
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