Monday, May 22, 2017

The Alligator’s Retreat by Carol Ford

“It’s a beautiful view, isn’t it?” she said.
I was looking out a picture window that overlooked a Florida lagoon. Lush palm trees and a variety of vibrant flowers skirted the water’s edge.
I was waiting for a friend after a bible study, and the window was located at the front of the church I was visiting.

“It must be hard to concentrate on the sermon with such a lovely view,” I said.
“Yes, but it also is a peaceful and inspirational setting,” she replied.

“We have an alligator in there too,” she continued.
“Yes, I saw the warning sign at the front of the church,” I said.
“Funny thing, when he hears the grand piano playing on Sundays, he swims over and lies just outside on the grass. However, when our pastor, John, starts his sermon, he retreats to the other side.” She chuckled.
Are we more like this alligator than we would like to admit?
How many of us are engaged in the lighter parts of our Christian worship such as the music and socializing, but when the sermon starts, we retreat into a plethora of thoughts....

Where will we go for lunch today?
I think I’ll get the car washed this afternoon, before the game comes on TV.
I’m dreading going to work tomorrow; maybe I should look for another job.
I’m really upset with the way he/she talked to me this morning; is our marriage in trouble?
That child behind me is kicking my seat and talking too loud; why don’t people put their children in the nursery?
Look at the number of people texting on their phones. I should probably check mine too.
I wonder if she made that dress.

Or... because we have stopped rushing around for the first time since last Sunday, we nod off.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:22-25New International Version (NIV)”

I write in a notebook as I listen to the sermon. This activity keeps me focused and I often paraphrase the content to apply it personally. How do you concentrate when the sermon starts?

Hope you laugh a little at the vision of this alligator, and it reminds you to ‘listen to the word’.

btw, For a writer, blog topics are everywhere we look or listen. Thank you for this privilege of writing monthly.


L-R - Claudia Loopstra, Carol Ford, Glenda Dekkema, Melony Teague,  Marguerite Cummings Authors of As the Ink Flows: Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers. The book has been shortlisted for 2017 Word Awards.  To learn more about Carol Ford go to: https/

Our book can be found at:


Susan Harris said...

Lovely piece with good food for thought, Carol. It took me back to home memories in Trinidad, growing up on the banks of a river and seeing the alligators sunning themselves on the sand. Not sure I tracked how they responded to prayer and praise of which a lot took place at our house, but your observation is sure hilarious.

Carol Ford said...

Hi, Susan
So glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was very funny too. Thanks for taking time to comment.

Peter Black said...

Thanks Carol. That's a fun story; interesting observation and timely application, too. Hmm, we do need to guard against allowing our preoccupations and distractions to intrude into our attentiveness to God's Word. ~~+~~

Carol Ford said...

Thanks, Peter, for being such a great support on these blogs.

Glynis said...

Ha! I laughed out loud at your alligator worship analogy. So good. And so true. I had a tendency to be an alligator sometimes but I have conquered that because now I take notes all the time during the sermon. Great post. Thanks.

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