Familiarity:  Enemy of God

Extracted from a book called God Came Near, by Max Lucado

This section refers to how he and his wife almost lost their two-year old daughter one day as she fell in the pool.  The whole part of this book is the fact that we take things for granted and we aren’t careful.

It was only a matter of minutes, maybe seconds, we almost lost her.  The thought was numbing and convicting.  It was a defying flap, a gracious knock on the head of severe mercy.  Because of it I came face to face with one of Satan’s slyest agents.  The agent of familiarity.  His commission from the dark room is clear, and it is fatal.  Take nothing from your victim, cause him only to take everything for granted.

He had been on my trail for years and I never knew it.  But I know it now.  I have come to recognize his tactics and detect his presence, and I am doing my best to keep him out.  His aim is deadly, his goal is nothing less than to take what is most precious to us and make it appear as most common.

To say that this agent of familiarity brings contempt is to let him off easy.  Contempt is just one of his offspring, he also sires broken hearts, wasted hours and an insatiable desire for more.  He is an expert in robbing the sparkle and replacing it with dread.  He invented the yawn, he put the hum in hum-drum and his strategy is deceptive.  He won’t steal your salvation, he’ll just make you forget what it is like to be lost.  You’ll grow accustomed to prayer, and thereby not pray.  Worship will become commonplace and study will be optional.  And through the passing of time he’ll infiltrate your heart with boredom and cover the cross with salve, so that you’ll be safely out of reach of pain.  Nor will he steal your home from you, he’ll do something far worse.  He’ll paint it with a coat of plastic.  He’ll replace evening gowns with bathrobes, nights on the town with evenings in the recliner and romance with routine.  He’ll scatter the dust off of yesterday over the wedding pictures until they become a memory of another couple in another time.

He won’t take your children, he’ll just make you too busy to notice them.  His whispers to procrastinate are seductive, there is always next summer to coach the team, next month to go to the lake and next week to teach Shawna how to pray.  He’ll make you forget that the faces around your table will soon be at tables of their own.  Hence, stories will go unread, games will go unplayed, hearts will go unnurtured and opportunities will go unnoticed.  All because the poison of the ordinary has deaden your senses to the magic of the moment.  Before you know it the little face that brought tears to your eyes in the delivery room has become, perish the thought, common.  And unless something changes, unless someone wakes you up, the common kid in your home could become the common stranger. 

All because of familiarity.