When mountain lions devour. When Christ redeems.

Why do we continue to chase the things that can eat us or do things that potentially can destroy us?
My son, Marty, lives in Montana and rides a snowmobile, and it’s a huge contraption. Riding it into the mountain on snow covered embankments, Marty glides over the powder and soars between trees and along new trails.
He tells me of the joy. Of the sheer fun. Of the beauty he beholds in those mountains. And yet, the terrain and power from his snowmobile brings avalanches, unforeseen danger, and even death to riders each year.
He also hunts. He once chased down a mountain lion in the ridge above his area in the woods, and he and a friend left the warmth of the truck to track down this critter.
They got separated in the snow and Marty, being the kind of guy he is, well, he returned to the truck. Getting warm, he consumed the entire thermos of coffee, enough for the two of them, and waited for his friend.
In a bit, his friend stomped up from behind some trees after losing track of the mountain lion. He jumped inside ready for the thermos. Too late, the coffee was gone. But at least, they were not devoured on that mountain.
Riding the rapids of the river near his home to fish, Marty takes risk without considering how this mom might feel about it. Not that he should ask, since he is a grown man. But my heart stops and skips a beat every time I hear of his adventures in the mountains.
Once he and a guide were tracking a bear. A bear mind you. Who does that, and who wants to?
On this outing, the cell phones won’t have service, so the only way to get around is with a compass. This is so you don’t come up missing.
Well a bear who lived in that region left his droppings behind, and his claw prints in the ground. Not long though, the guide determined that they were being tracked by the bear instead, and it circled around them, and followed.
Again, why do we chase after things that can destroy us?
Fortunately, they found their way to the trail, to the road, to safety and got off the mountain range.
Well, the other day, Marty opened his sliding glass door in the middle of the night for Margaret. Yes, Margaret is his dog. She needed to go outside, as she must have forgotten to take care of business.
Keep in mind, my son lives in a forest of sorts, on a ridge, in the mountain, by a river, up the winding roads where bear, deer, mountain lion, and other things like wolves live and roam.
Margaret didn’t venture out, and stood at the door frozen like a statue. This dog had enough sense to not venture into the dark as she apparently knew there was a critter that might cause harm out in the shadows.
Now if a dog can have the good sense to stay put when danger lurks, why can’t we? Why do we feel the need to chase the things that can hurt or destroy us?
Then I’m reminded that God’s thoughts and ways are not mine, that His thoughts and ways are higher than the heavens.
When someone rides the trails in search of thrills with things like drugs or alcohol like my girls in the recovery center have, then the life-compass gets packed with prints of sin, with lost opportunity, with choices that leave them out in the cold. Out in the lost world of sin and brokenness. In need of a Savior.
This morning my girls in recovery and I spent time lingering with the verse found in Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭8‬ ESV)
May we seek God and seek His ways, and not pursue the things that destroy And of course, I’m not actually speaking of the outings my son takes, even though I wish him safety and life, and health and wholeness.
But I’m speaking of how we entertain sin and don’t think it will kill us or destroy us. What I want for the girls is for them to say no when Satan calls to them from the shadows. I pray they trust God’s ways, seek His face, and thirst for Him.
May they pursue the trails of righteousness and purity, and listen to the Lord’s call, and use His compass of direction for living – the bible.
After all, if my grand dog can avoid the evil in the darkness, and I have Christ renewing my mind and heart, I can definitely obey the Lord. May I truly seek God, turn from my wickedness and pride from the mountain ridge of my past and soar into this new day, this new year, with this fresh snow of hope for my heart.
Satan came to destroy us, but Christ came to give us life and Himself. To save us. To redeem our lives. He is beautiful to worship and worthy of praise. He’s like mountains with snow-capped trees to my soul and sunlight pouring joy into my heart!

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