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Several Sundays ago I was in the church nursery when the power went out. I had two toddlers playing on the floor close by and two sitting on my lap. Normally we keep the top half door open, but the two on my lap were not happy mommy left them. I was rocking and calming them down. When the lights went out, there was a split second of silence. Then the whimpers and small cries began. My eyes hadn’t adjusted yet and I couldn’t see a thing. I was afraid that I would step on the two on the floor. In a very calm and soothing voice I told them repeatedly that it was okay and don’t move. I slowly got up and gingerly walked to the door to open it to let natural light in. By the time I got to the door, the power flicked back on. I had 4 sets of wide eyes staring at me. I continued to talk soothingly until they were all rest assured that they were going to be okay. Soon they went back to playing and the two in my arms now wanted down to go play. In their eyes, they were safe and returned to playing. 

As a child, it was drilled into us, for good reason, that if there was a fire to stop, drop and roll. Oddly, the phrase comes to mind in any potential dangerous situations. 

When the lights went out, everything and everyone stopped. I stopped rocking and the kids stopped playing and crying.There were a few seconds of complete stillness. My mind was running through different scenarios on the best way to handle the situation. I needed to stay calm, come up with a plan and keep the kids as safe as possible. I had to stop, put everything else aside and focus on the situation in front of me. My “drop” was that the kids needed to stay still and not move. I knew I needed to move to a source of light. Yet, to get there, I could not see where my little people were to avoid stepping on or hurting them. It was imperative that they not move. Shock and relief hit at the same time as I got the door opened for a little bit of light. Joy came to life when the lights came back on. You could see the relief all around me. I “rolled” by confirming everyone was okay and that no one was hurt. I reassured their hearts and minds that it was all okay now and they could go back to playing. Our moment of darkness had ended. 

A more intense version of my “Stop. Drop and Roll” occurred a few years ago when my brother and I were in a car accident. My brother and I walked away with aches and pains. His car, not so much! Anyway, the ironic part was that we were out car shopping when we got into a car accident! 

I’ve mentioned before, I do not like car shopping. My brother likes the research and finding the best deals. God love his precious heart, he stepped up and helped me out. At the time, I had recently sold two vehicles and wanted to purchase a newer one as my main vehicle. I told my brother what I was looking for and how much I had. He worked his magic and came up with a list of car dealers to go visit. We were between our third and fourth visit when the accident happened. We were slowing down for a stop light three car links ahead of us. The van behind us did not slow down. He rammed into us and we hit the car in front of us. As we bounced back the van hit us again and sent us into a spin into the opposite lane. As we were spinning into the opposite lane, my brother yelled, “Hold On!” “To what?!” I thought. Once the car stopped moving and we got out of the car, a sense of panic started to wash over me. My glasses flung off my face during the accident and were in the back seat. As I was searching for my glasses, my brother got out and was looking at what used to be his car. As I found my glasses the panic intensified. I also realized my normally calm, easy going brother was panicking. One of us needed to be calm and somewhat level headed. So, I “stopped.” I took several deep breaths, took a lap around the car and assessed what our next step needed to be. I already heard the sirens in the background and knew someone else made that call. Looking at the car, I knew we needed someone to come get us. Luckily my sister was only 15 minutes away and came to pick us up. In the meantime, we gave our statements, were checked out by an EMT and I started to gather items out of my brother’s car that he would need to take home. His car was not coming home with us! While we waited for my sister an overwhelming urge to see and hug my kids was my next priority. They were hanging out at my brother’s house while we were car shopping. As I barged into the house, I “dropped” all anxieties as I gathered all three up in my arms. I heard muffled voices asking what was going on. Now that I saw and hugged each of my kids, I could breathe a little easier. The panic continued to dissipate as we talked about what happened and how God protected our family from another tragedy. My brother and I took a few minutes to compose ourselves and come up with our new plan. We borrowed my sister’s car (so brave of her!) and “rolled” out to visit two more dealers. 

Deuteronomy 30:20 gives a much better version of stop, drop and roll. “…Love the Lord you God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Love, listen and hold to Jesus. He is my life. 

The condition of our heart releases the kind of love we give to Jesus and to others. Is your heart centered on self desires or the desires Jesus has given you to give you an abundant life? When you stop, who or what do you listen to? Are you listening to the world around you or the God’s ever present whisper into your heart and mind? Who are you holding on to. Yourself, planning on saving yourself. Or Jesus, the ultimate strength and provider of all? If you made a list of your priorities, What would be number one? That is your who or what you are living for. That is your life? Where is Jesus on your priority list? Is Jesus your life, the most important above all else? Hmmm….. That’s a hard one to answer. I know what I want the answer to be, but is it really the honest answer? 

What would your life be like if instead of “Stop! Drop! And Roll!” being drilled into your survival skills, you had “Love! Listen! Hold on to Jesus!” as your mantra during life “fires?” 

The more we acknowledge, accept and live His love through all we do, the louder His voice is in our hearts and minds. The louder and clearer His voice is, the stronger we hold onto Jesus. Jesus is compassionate, gracious, merciful, joyous, humble and so much more. Don’t you want to live and be more like that? The more you love, listen and hold on to Jesus, the more you realize He is the only life you want.

My friends, having Christ in our hearts and minds is not some far-fetched, unrealistic hoopla. He is real. He already is or can be inside your heart and mind, all you have to do is ask and He’s there. That fast, just like that. 

Love, listen, hold on to Jesus. Put it on a post-it, write it on your mirror, make it your screensaver or your lock screen. Post it wherever you will see it most. Let it grab a hold of you so that your first reaction will be love, listen and hold on to Jesus.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together loving, listening and holding onto Him.

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