This week, Southern California has been plagued by the Santa Ana Winds. The Santa Ana wind comes when a weather system rolls in, causing the typical offshore breeze to reverse, instead hot winds coming from the vast deserts east of the massively populated cities of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego. These “warm winds” give the sensation of opening the oven door and feeling the hot, dry air.
The Santa Anas make it nearly impossible to ride a bike or go for a run during afternoon hours. But, the hot days mean warm nights. The fitness frenzied population takes to the trails during the long summer evenings. The extra daylight is paydirt! This week even included summer solstice, with more daylight hours than any other day of the year!
As I observed all the SoCal peeps trying to squeeze a ride, run, or stroll in during the waning hours of daylight, with the sunsetting over the ridge lines, it occurred to me that we are wired to squeeze the most out of every day. But, taking advantage of the long days in the desert mean potentially dangerous wildlife encounters.
This week, I came upon a proverbial NatGeo moment, featuring and encounter between a rattlesnake and a road runner (meep, meep). I startled the road runner and the snake stayed put, completely obstructing my path. My presence interrupted a would-be mortal battle between the road runner and the snake. Wanna bet who would have won? (see this YouTube video to see a similar encounter- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LE78eJx5hg)
This snake, along with our desire to make the most of the day, provides a powerful analogy when contemplated with Ephesians 5:15-16 in view:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Paul offered these potent words to believers at the church in Ephesus to help them understand that their time to live for Christ and to tell others about Him was limited. And the time they had was ‘evil’, full of dangers, temptation, and persecution. By ‘making the best use of our time’, Paul isn’t encouraging us to go for a big ride before it gets dark. He tell us to ‘go big’ and use the time on earth to tell others about Jesus. And about the salvation Jesus offers through His voluntary death on the cross. And His resurrection.
There are spiritual dangers that are subtle, silent, and potentially deadly. Not unlike this rattler I encountered. But, we’ve been given this ‘extra time’ (like a long evening) to live life to the fullest, with wisdom, and for the purpose of sharing Christ with others. Enjoy life. But remember it’s purpose, and the dangers we are kept from along the way.
Thanks and God Bless!