Jason B. Ladd

Author | Apologist | Entrepreneur

Focus Your Reach and Grasp What’s Important


This morning the reach of a tiny hand made me think about the meaning of life.  I was getting ready for work.  My 9-month-old sat on the bathroom tile, just staring at me.

Chubby legs poked out of his Mossy Oak onesy, and a single tooth poked through his big smile.

He sat and watched.  Then he smiled again.

Then he reached for me.

Every parent knows the wonderful feeling of a child reaching out for you.  He doesn’t know much, but he knows he wants his dad.  He knows he needs his dad.reach

But my boy will reach for a candle flame too.

He hasn’t learned that fire can be both a useful tool and a deadly force.  Likewise,

a worldview can be a pathway to life, or an enslaving warden of spiritual death.

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As we develop our worldview, we can be like children, failing to recognize the difference between security and danger, truth and fiction.

Promises of health, happiness, and power are seductive enticements to follow the latest trend pushed by the latest idol.

But most of these promises are empty.  

Their purveyors have neither the authority to make the offers, nor the power to bring them to fruition.  The trustworthiness of a leader and their message must be confirmed by the head and affirmed by the heart.  Reckless allegiance to any cause creates a shallow faith at best.

At worst you will end up with a broken bank account, an impoverished spirit, and a soul damned to an eternity of conscious torment.  

Our culture is flooded with ready-made solutions to manufactured problems.  And you can have them all, for a small fee (my best Jim Gaffigan impression here.  He’s a comedian and author of the book Dad is Fat).

It has become almost impossible to unplug from the 24/7 advertising cycle.  We are surrounded by competing products, philosophies, and worldviews.  If you’re not careful, you can lose your focus on what’s really important.  Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People provides the following solution:

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

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When developing a worldview, it’s important to keep your focus.  I don’t know much, but I know I want answers.  I know I need answers to the important questions in life.

I want the truth! (And yes, Jack Nicholson, I can handle it.)

When your baby reaches for the flame, you grab his hand.

What will you do when your neighbor is playing with fire?  Will you let him feel the burn?

Or will you love him as you love your baby, as you love yourself, and lead him out of the flames?


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Photo credit: Adrian Dreßler / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: kkalyan / Foter / CC BY-SA candle

Photo credit: The National Guard / Foter / CC BY

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

11 Replies

  1. Justin

    Amazing post and picture of your child grasping. You really captured how to think about treating others in a poignant way. Well done!

    1. Thanks, Justin. Glad it struck a chord.

  2. Elizabeth

    I love the picture of your baby reaching for his daddy! I reversed that in my mind also as how The Lord reaches for us yet we are too busy to see. Thank you for sharing the post.

    1. Elizabeth, I’m glad the photo added to the feeling of the story, although it is not one of my five rugrats. I also like the connection you made with the Lord. The Father/child analogy is strong, and one we can all immediately relate to. Thanks for the comment!

    2. Little Butterfly

      The Lord never reaches to me.

      1. He’s there. Please don’t stop reaching for Him.

  3. Justin

    I featured your post on “Top 10 WordPress Posts” – http://bookofmohs.com/2013/07/21/top-10-wordpress-posts/ 🙂

    1. Justin, it’s an honor. Thank you! What a great way to give back.

  4. mustardseedbudget

    as a member of our armed forces, you might like my post on the USS Iowa http://mustardseedbudget.wordpress.com/2013/05/

    1. That was a good post. Thanks for the link!