A new experience rushed upon me at work on a Friday night shift. It was the first shift of this new side contract. My role consists of discouraging drug traffic, vandalism and disturbance of the peace, a bit more intense than my usual assignments.

But the night took on a different turn. I smelled food burning, like something spilled over in an oven. Still, I began to make frequent checks.

About 40 minutes later the hallway began to fill with smoke. I knocked on the door until finally someone answered. They had fallen asleep with a pot cooking on the stove.

FiremanBy the time the fire department arrived (about 5 minutes!) the fire was out and they just had to purify the air.

Now, I have never prevented someone from certain death before. The adrenaline rush to do all the right things, informing other residents, contacting building manager and my own supervisor, paperwork, and nearly an hour of constant fire patrol until the alarm was reset, and more, set me up for a crash as I drove home.

The reason I share this is that on my way home I felt so fragile, weak and nearly helpless. What if that company had not hired security? Someone would be dead now. What if I hadn’t noticed the smoke? Someone would be dead now. What if I hadn’t taken on this new career, forced though I was out of the previous one? Someone would be dead now.

This all reinforces the importance of following the guidelines to do a job. It gives a strong argument for staying alert.

Following Jesus holds the same requirements. Follow the law of love. Stay alert and endure to the end.

I am still unnerved by this whole incident. I didn’t get much done today.

Help me, Jesus, to be ready and willing to act rightly whenever You call upon me. Since you are strong when I am weak don’t let me wander away from your presence.

“Get into the presence of Jesus, and you will not be left to hazy questionings and doubtful disputations, but will be told clearly and unmistakably His will, and always definitely about one point at a time.”
(F. B. Meyer, “The Secret of Guidance”, Chapter V – Hand over to Christ All Other Burdens)