See what happens when an assumption goes very wrong...
It was about 15 years ago, before I was married and had kids. I had just graduated high school, and was living with my parents still. I attended church, was involved in young adult small group, and hung out with some pretty decent friends. In that group of friends was one who liked to wander away from God's truths. She liked to do things differently, in a rebellious manner. As cautious as I was around her, I felt drawn to her. I couldn't help but think that maybe, just maybe, I could steer her back onto the right path. I would hang out with her often, always reminding myself that my focus needed to remain on God, not her worldly doings. So, when she told me she was going to start fresh and place some job applications around town, I thought she may be coming back around again. "Do you want to go with me?" she asked. With nothing better to do that day, I agreed to go.
First stop, Costco. She informed me that she actually submitted ten applications there. Her train of thought was, the more they saw her name, the better chance she may be hired. Interesting thinking...hope it worked for her. We hopped back into the car and headed to her next stop. We pulled up to the curb and approached the front doors. I caught a glimpse of a large sign that read, "The Candy Store". I got excited and clapped my hands together, "Oohh, this should be good!" My friend shot me an amused look, as we opened the front doors. Walking into the entrance, I immediately noticed we were not in a true "candy store". No sign of lollipops, gumballs, or chocolate any where. Then it hit me; no windows on the building, bouncer at the door, dark atmosphere, and loud music. That's when I saw it...the brass pole on a stage. My eyes grew big as we took another step inside. I had just entered my very first strip club EVER. I immediately grabbed my friend's arm and urged her to leave. "Why are you applying here? We need to go, now!" I yelled under my breath to her, trying not to cause a scene. "It's good money," she said point blank. I sighed as I kept my head down, avoiding all eye contact with anyone around me, especially tutti fruity up on the stage. I slowly backed out, passing the bouncer who keep a permanent angry expression on his face. I swung open the doors and was blinded by the new found light. I made a bee-line back to the car, hoping no one I knew saw me. I would never view a candy store the same way again.
That particular day, assumption failed me. I assumed we were moving in the right direction and getting back on God's path. Meanwhile, Satan had his own set of plans. I learned that somethings are just not what they appear to be. I think that is how we get off track. We can tend to get lured into areas of life that seem innocent enough, yet it slowly begins to take our focus off of God. I'm not talking about extreme strip clubs here, I'm talking about everyday life; friends, activities, entertainment, habits, and over all "busy work". Sometimes it is hard to see the darkness that has crept in around us, until we step out of it and head back toward true light. What consumes your day? Do those things interfere with your ability to grow spiritually?
"Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!" Proverbs 3:7 (The Message)
P.S. A lesson in perseverance...after all of those applications, she did end up getting the Costco job! I like to think it was divine intervention :)