Keep Your Hands Out of Your Pockets!

When I was in college preparing to be a teacher, we were required to visit schools and observe real-life classroom instruction. I remember visiting a shop class in a school just south of Auburn. The instructor was an older gentlemen not far from retirement with a lot of hard-earned wisdom. I never forgot his instruction to his students, “When we go into the shop, I better not see any of you with your hands in your pockets. You never go on a worksite with your hands in your pockets. Be ready to work and be ready to protect yourself. You hear me! Keep your eyes open and keep your hands out of your pockets! I better not catch any of you with your hands in your pockets!”

Some babies when they are first learning to walk, do not know to catch themselves with their hands when they fall. They end up face-planting on the floor. Eventually, they learn from their self-induced pain to throw up their hands. Now, people walk around with a smartphone glued to their face not watching where they are going.

Too many people are walking around with their hands in their pockets. They are not vigilant to the dangers around them and are not ready to act. We can be so consumed in our little world that we miss what is going on in the bigger world just a step away from us.

The scriptures has something to say about this. One admonition is in First Peter 5:8 (NKJV), where we are told to, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

We should not be so paranoid that we are looking for a demon under every rock, but we do not need to be sleepwalking through life either. Satan is not a mythical creature from an archaic book, He is real. His greatest desire is to control and destroy us. If he cannot do those things, his secondary ploy is to make us ineffective. Keep your hands out of your pockets—be ready for the dangers around you.

The other scriptural admonition is in Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV), “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,/ redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Circumspectly means cautiously or carefully. In other words, keep your eyes open to your surroundings. Situational awareness is an often used popular term. Once when I was in Haiti, we were driving down a usually busy main highway and suddenly there was no oncoming traffic toward us. Something did not look right! Then we saw a black plume of smoke rising about a half a mile ahead of us. It was a road barricade of burning tires placed by protestors—not a safe place to be. We turned off the main highway and found a safe place to wait until the danger was over.

It is easier to avoid situations than trying to fight your way out of one. Sailors of old, preferred to wait out a storm in a bay to harbor their vessel from shipwreck on the open ocean.

We live in a broken world filled with dangers and traps. Keep your hands out of your pockets and keep your eyes open. Seek peace and avoid trouble. Step over a mud hole rather than walking through it. Many people who walk headlong into trouble with a bravado attitude, inherit a piece of real estate about four feet wide by ten feet long with a granite marker.

“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it” (Psalms 34:14 NKJV).

Yours on the Journey,

Harry L. Whitt

4 Replies to “Keep Your Hands Out of Your Pockets!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: