I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. (1 Pet. 2:11)

WHILE SERVING as a Navy hospital corpsman in Sicily, I was assigned to accompany a helicopter detachment on a seven-day mission to Alexandria, Egypt. We would operate from an airfield, flying parts and supplies to an aircraft carrier off the coast and our nights would be spent at a local hotel.

Besides the obvious hazards associated with aircraft and forklift operations, there were little things, seemingly harmless, that could exact a high price on the unwary. I learned that the last detachment sent to that area had been unable to complete its mission because over half of the team was incapacitated by severe illness.

After poring over disease risk reports, I briefed our team. That beautiful hotel salad bar? Implicated; avoid it. Those street vendors offering tempting rotisserie meats? Bad idea. Even the local water and ice were suspect. For our entire stay, we consciously weighed each choice. Our caution paid off as we completed our mission and returned in excellent health.

Our Christian mission is to let our light shine in a dark world and to point lost people to Jesus. When we finally see Him, will He say, “Well done”? Between today and tomorrow, there are many enticements that can cause us to lose sight of our objective and take us out of the fight. Stay alert!

Ask God for new insight into the problem areas.

Neil Bowers lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and children. He is a state correctional officer and enjoys children’s ministry, poetry writing, and wood carving.