Fire alarm

What do you do when you hear a fire alarm?

You head for the nearest exit, right? Well, that’s what you’re supposed to do, but what do you really do?

Researchers have found that when a fire alarm rings, most people stand around and wait for more clues. In 1985, 56 people died when fire broke out in the stands in a soccer match in England. Video later showed that people continued to watch the game and the fire.

In 1977, fire broke out in the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Kentucky. Forensic experts confirmed that many of the 177 who died had tried to pay before leaving. They died in a line.

I just finished reading The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves, by psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz. Grosz says that we experience change as loss, so even when we try to change, we often wind up following old habits. Committing to a small change, even one that is unmistakably in our best interest, is often more frightening than ignoring a dangerous situation. This is why people won’t take an exit if they don’t know exactly where it will take them, even—or perhaps especially—in an emergency.

God is always opening new doors, but he rarely makes clear what awaits us on the other side. All we can be sure of is that God will be there.

It’s a new year. Don’t wait for the alarm to ring. Let God lead you into his better future.

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