“As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.”–Proverbs 27:8
John Frederick Parker was one of the original officers when the Metropolitan Police Department for Washington DC was established in 1861. He had an undistinguished record, having been reprimanded on more than one occasion for sleeping or being drunk while on duty. Despite his checkered past, Parker was assigned to guard the booth of President Abraham Lincoln during the performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater that Lincoln attended on April 14, 1865.
During the intermission of the play, Parker and several other men left the theater and went to a nearby tavern for drinks. As a result when John Wilkes Booth arrived at the presidential box, there was no security guard to stop him from entering and killing President Lincoln. Confronted later by Mary Todd Lincoln who blamed him for her husband’s murder, Parker said, “I did wrong, I admit, and have bitterly repented.” John Parker failed to stay in the place where he should have been, and tragedy followed.
It is easy for us to find excuses for not being where we should be and doing what we should do but there is great value in diligence and reliability. Instead of being distracted, bored, or tempted by something else, we must be faithful to our responsibilities. This is true in our families, on our jobs, in the church, and everywhere we belong. A man or woman who is where they should be, doing what they should do, is far safer than one who is not. Think of David staying behind in Jerusalem and seeing Bathsheba on the rooftop. While he should have resisted the temptation, if he had been where he should have been, the temptation would never have happened. Don’t wander away from the place where God has put you in search of greener pastures.–Be diligent about fulfilling whatever assignments God has placed in your life—it can literally be a matter of life and death.(From “Daily in the Word”)