Reference text: Psalms 17
Psalms 17:5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.
A person can plan for a number of scenarios regarding any event but there usually is that one factor no one seems to take into account and this normally ends up creating a new set of possibilities that seemingly make initial conclusions ineffective. As a practical example, you can choose where to walk and when to, but it may be impossible to predict when and where your feet are likely to slip but that does not keep you looking toward just the ground even as you walk.
As I read the Psalm today, the one word that got my attention was “SLIP”: which is defined as to lose one’s footing and slide unintentionally over a short distance. Anyone will associate a slip as being a normal part of walking hence categorise it as harmless, at least until it leads to something more. The reality is this: a slip is usually the consequence of a wrong step and unless quickly corrected and composure regained, repercussions can be severe.
If you wanted to create a chain of possible outcomes, you could say: SLIP -fall – stain clothes/break bones/expose flesh – loss of time. To put this in practical terms, the things and actions which we may consider irrelevant can become the rolling stones that knock us off our feet. Staining of clothes or exposing of flesh will be symbolic respectively of falling into an embarrassing situation or opening oneself up to an onslaught of attacks with your flesh exposed- consequences of what you may refer to as ‘just a slip’.
The reason therefore why the psalmist invites God to order all of his footsteps becomes clear – to keep him from slipping and protect him from all the negative addons that come with it. This should thus be our confident prayer ‘Lord, Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings’ because the God that I know is not only able, but willing to do this and more.
Remember # pay attention to the seemingly ‘small things’ before they blow out of proportion.