Carl glanced impatiently at his watch as the mechanic explained the results from the diagnostics on his car.
Reluctantly he agreed for the repairs to be made, and took a seat in the service waiting area.
Shortly after Carl took his seat, he pulled out his cell phone and placed a call to his friend Mike.
“Mike, I’m going to be a little late…got car trouble. Their working on it, but said that it would take a little over an hour.”
“…Yeah I know, it’s going to cut it real close to kickoff but I was thinking that if you went over to my place, you could pick up the tickets and meet me at the stadium.”
“…You can? awesome.” “…What’s that?” “Yep, under the rock next to the garage.”
An hour later Carl’s name was called through the shops sound system, indicating that his car was ready for pick up.
Anxiously he approached the counter, eager to complete his transaction and head off to the game. The attendant placed the paperwork down in front of him and began to review the charges pertaining to the repairs.
As she was halfway through her list of explanations, she was interrupted by a man who had come up and stood next to Carl.
“Excuse me, I’m sorry to interrupt, but I have a football game to catch and I was wondering how much longer it’s going to take to finish my car?”
The attendant looked over her shoulder and into the garage.
“You driving the red Ford Explorer?”
The man shook his head affirmatively.
“Their taking it down off the rack now sir.”
“Ok, thanks,” he replied as he took out his cell phone and began to make an entry.
Carl glanced at him and said with a smile, “So you’re going to the game?”
Again the man shook his head.
“Me too, in fact…” but before Carl could finish his sentence he was interrupted by the ring of his phone.
“Hey Mike, yep I’m finishing up here and leaving shortly. Did you pick up the tickets? Good, I’ll meet you at the stadium in about twenty minutes. What’s that? The keys?…just put them back under the rock next to the garage.”
Closing the lid on his cell, he turned his attention back to his paperwork, signed and paid for the services. “Well… I’m out of here, maybe I’ll see you at the game.”
“Yeah, maybe so,” said the man as Carl exited the garage.
Stepping over to the window, the man watched Carl get into his car and drive away.
“Sir,” the man heard the attendant say, “Your car is almost ready for pick up, the mechanics are writing up the order now.”
Without turning his attention away from the window he steadily responded, “Ok…you think I’ve got time for a smoke?”
“Sure, but you’ll need to step outside.”
“Not a problem,” answered the man while calmly opening the door.
As he exited the shop, the man gingerly pulled out a pack of cigarettes and tapped it on the back of his hand causing one to emerged.
Placing it to his lips, he lit it, and inhaled deeply. As he slowly released the smoke, he looked back over his shoulder and peered into the window to where the attendant had been standing.
Seeing that she no longer stood there, he took in another long drag from his cigarette, and then turned his head and began to walk down the sidewalk away from the shop’s door.
When he came to the corner of the walk he stepped down off the curb and approached a black Honda Civic.
Reaching inside his pocket he withdrew a set of car keys, and inserted them into the lock of the parked car. Before entering, he removed his cigarette and tossed it on the ground, stepping on its remains to extinguish the last of its heat.
As he entered the car he pulled out his cell and pushed the recall button for his last entry. 815 Oakwood Drive, Bramble, MD., 21222. Then he entered the address into his GPS and waited for the directions to download.
As the download completed the man put his car in gear and followed the automated voice directions. “Turn LEFT onto BRANDYVINE.” Pressing lightly on the gas he turned his car in the direction that would bring him closer to a very well-to-do neighborhood.
* * *
Hours later, Carl turned into his driveway still ecstatic that his team had won. His step was highly energized as he approached his house and turned the key to the front door. But his jubilation quickly vanished as he opened the door and stood in the threshold of his ransacked home.
Taking a few steps inside, Carl quickly looked towards the area to where his television and computer were located and his once high spirits had now plummeted into despair…..he had been robbed.
* * * * * * * *
“Be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Peter 5:8)
The “adversary” (opponent, enemy or foe that opposes or attacks) is quite diligent in his quest to wreak havoc, cause heartache, or destroy a life. He is a superb opponent and will use any means to snare his unsuspecting prey.
The bible states that he “walks about like a roaring lion” indicating that he is proactive, determined, and hungers (in my opinion, with an insatiable appetite).
He “seeks whom he may devour” meaning, he is not a picky eater. His only goal is to devour whatever his victim possess in happiness, health, love, but most of all his or her faith in God.
We are instructed to be “vigilant.” This is a word not commonly used in our vernacular today, but it means to be watchful, heedful, wary, and on the alert.
- Carl was no more aware that while he spoke on the phone to his friend Mike, that lurking in the background was a predator waiting to capitalize on an unsuspecting and unguarded victim.
- He had no idea that his conversation was being overheard and recorded, a conversation that proved to equip his enemy and lay the groundwork for theft.
- He did not suspect the approaching adversary as he posed as a “fellow football fan” with a similar “distress”… car trouble. Nor did he recognize the enemy even as he stood next to him gathering damaging information.
Our enemy will use any and all tactics, no matter how small they are to infiltrate our lives and lay us in ruin. He is cunning and strategic and I fear that we may equip this “hungry lion” more often than we are aware.
“Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11.
We live in a society “where lions lurk,” and because of this, we have become more proactive in self-guarding ourselves from becoming a victim.
This same conscientiousness (proactive self-guarding) needs to also be applied towards our spiritual well-being. Satan, lurks, seeks, and devours those whose shields have dropped, swords laid down, and helmets not adorned.
May we avoid the “Carl” in us and become more aware of the spiritual warfare engaging around us.
May we develop the proper spiritual disciplines as we “fight the good fight,” “finish the race,” and “keep the faith,” so that we are not overtaken by the “wiles” of the devil.