The story you are about to read is true. The names, however, have NOT been changed to protect the stupid. Yep, stupid.

I’ve been out of town for the last week, but just before I left, I went with my husband and daughter to run some errands. We were in a hurry and forgot to shut the garage door when we pulled out. We didn’t discover this until we got home a few hours later. That’s when we realized that, because it was a windy day and we apparently didn’t shut the door into the house very well, the wind had blown that door open. So, to make sure you have a clear picture, both the garage and the house doors were wide open, and had been for possibly hours. As we stepped cautiously into the house, this is what we saw:

This neatly stacked set of boxes from recent Christmas loot, was waiting patiently to be stored in the garage, but hadn’t made it out there yet. It was, literally, sitting right inside the open door into the house, screaming to passers-by that we had a bunch of new, cool electronic equipment in our house. Then, if all this wasn’t enough, I realized that I had left three big candles burning! Believe it or not, everything was fine. Despite what appeared to be our best effort at enticing thieves to rob us blind and burn our house down when they were finished, we were spared. However, as God often does, He drew a parallel for me…this time, a sobering one.

The Bible talks about keeping our guard up against evil in the world and the evil one whose whole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). We are to put on the armor of God (Eph 6:11), pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17), and continually renew our minds (Rom 12:2) with what is noble and pure and true (Phil 4:8). In other words, we’re supposed to blow out potential fires, put away the things of the world that entice us to enter into sin, lock the doors to our boundary lines and turn on the alarm that warns us when we’re stepping into questionable territory. When we let our guard down and become lax, we’re pretty much sending Satan an engraved invitation to come in and do his worst…rob us blind and burn our house down when he’s finished.

Sometimes, we luck out. Nothing happens. But if we continue to leave the door open, we’ll eventually find ourselves looted, sitting in the ashes of our lives.