At this point in time, it is difficult to focus on positive, uplifting experiences taking place. This is because they are being quickly overshadowed by unpleasant, catastrophic, evil and outright depraved behavior all around us. As a result, I sometimes put away all of my electronic devices and allow my thoughts to drift back to a more amiable time in my life.

When I was thirteen, my parents purchased an old one-room building in a cluster of others located on a river. That would become our family retreat where we could be found most weekends. During the summer months, they would often leave me there alone for days to wander and explore to my hearts content. My dad bought a wooden boat and small outboard motor knowing that as long as the fuel lasted, I would be content.

That boat and the Pascagoula River soon became my best friends. The river sand bars were like the French Rivera to me. I would run the boat up on them, dive in and swim for hours on end, many times alone. These river experiences were a gift from a loving God. He knew that one day when I became old, I would have those memories to console me in a world gone mad.

I often quote King Solomon from Ecclesiastes 3:1 where he writes, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” With this verse, Solomon has given me permission to daydream of those experiences from the past, but only for a time. Then, it is back to the reality of the present, which is often, unpleasant.

It is vitally important for Christians to immerse themselves in the reality of their surroundings. The scriptures instruct us to do just that.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” – Matthew 7:15

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” – Ephesians 5:11-12

“Psalm 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand for me against those who practice iniquity?” – Psalms 94:16

A day will come very soon when the redeemed will be in Paradise with our Lord and where evil is nonexistent. Oh happy day! But until then, we are permitted only brief moments of blissful reflection. Then we should quickly return to the spiritual battle at hand where we will fight till the end.

“There is heaven in the sweet by and by, but there is to be victory in the nasty now and now.” Adrian Rogers

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