I just didn't see it coming.
It was a still night and perfect weather to go squidding with the cousins which meant all kinds of raucous fun while the parents stood on the rocks hoping for something below the surface to tug the other end of the hand line.
As my spindly legs hurtled my wispy thirteen year old body along the beach through the salty fresh air it felt like my feet weren't even touching the sand. But just as I hit peak speed a sudden hollow thud instantly turned out the lights and slammed me back onto the cool hard sand.
As my brain caught up to the pain emanating from my forehead I looked up to see what I had completely missed. It was a thin plank of wood perfectly positioned just above my line of sight and exactly at the height of my forehead. This thin piece of wood stopped me right in my tracks and ended any further games with the cousins by relegating me and my throbbing egg to the family car for the rest of the night.
Just as this perfectly positioned plank took me by surprise, so are there some unseen snares in life that have the capacity to stop us in mid flight and take us out of the game.
Proverbs warns us about one of the most dangerous snares of all:
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. – Proverbs 29:25 (ESV)
One of the greatest threats to moving forward and achieving your God-given purpose in life is constantly worrying about what other people think about you.
There is nothing more energy sapping and confidence draining than perpetually waiting for the approval of everyone around you or holding back until the vast array of (often opposing) opinions are satisfied.
Nothing puts a stick in the wheels of momentum more effectively than continuously second guessing every step you take.
The fear of man is one of the most invisible yet powerful tools the devil can use to make sure you remain a shadow of who God has truly called you to be.
Instead of living life with a ball and chain around your ankles, avoid the plank by taking your eyes of those around you and setting your eyes on the One who has not only given the dream, but will empower you to see it through to the end!