James Holmes’ apartment was booby trapped and set to explode when entered. If anyone had opened that door, they would have set off one explosion and triggered another. The police and bomb squad had to be vigilant. They had to be aware of what was happening in order to not set off an explosion they could not control.
1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
In the case of the Aurora tragedy, the booby traps were bombs. For us, the booby traps can be the circumstances out of our control; be it sickness, lack of comforts or not being at the point in life where we want to be. These circumstances become traps because if we’re not careful, they can take us out. They can prevent us from moving forward, from putting forth effort and striving to overcome. They can cause us to give up, if we are not vigilant.
So how do we survive? How do we not let our circumstances trap us?
- Let yourself feel the emotion but don’t stay in an emotional state. There is no doubt the emergency response team was impacted by the situation. Of course they were emotional. But in order to do their job, they had to eventually get from that emotional state to focus on the job at hand.
- Begin to develop a plan. Plan where you see yourself going; what needs to happen. Those can be short-term goals and long-term goals. Remember to be prepared however for things to pop up. I didn’t plan on my recovery being so difficult. But I keep going.
- Refuse to be complacent. It can be easy to stop when it gets tough. To throw up your hands and say forget it and walk away. There are days I definitely feel like that. But then I remember my personal goals and I carry on. Not as planned but as best as I can.
- Believe. Believe in yourself and that you can and will do better than your current circumstances. Believe that your current circumstances will change.
- Stay focused on the goal. We must remember and continue to remind ourselves the point of it all. For the police men and bomb squad, the point was to detonate anything harmful in order to protect and save lives. What is your purpose? Vision? Staying focused on that puts the setbacks and challenges in perspective.
We can’t control all the circumstances around us. But we don’t have to fall victim to them.
Be alert. Be vigilant. Stay focused.