Saturday, July 27, 2013

Subtle Warnings




Asherel and her friend Josh went kayaking with me yesterday. They spent most of their time swimming and doing death defying things like balancing on logs in the water and doing flips when I wasn't looking. Meanwhile, I zigzagged back and forth across the river, keeping them within sight and hailing distance, but exploring the cool shaded banks. There was one very curious section of the river. Under normal circumstances, large rocks are exposed near the bank in that section. However, with all the rain of late, the rocks are underwater. The current in that section is very strong, and swirls as it is disturbed by the large rocks. I have to work very hard to paddle upstream. If I stop for even a moment, I am swept back downstream and at curious angles depending on how the water is swirling. I am not afraid in my kayak, but I think those currents would be dangerous if I were swimming.

The only visible sign of all that turbulence were some twirls of water above the submerged rocks. If I weren't looking for them, I wouldn't have noticed they were there. Had I not known of the treacherous rocks because of all my prior experience kayaking there, I would not know to be careful near them now that they were unseen.

How like the snares and evils of the world those submerged rocks are! The wisdom of ages past might warn us, if we were inclined to turn an ear to those voices. The subtle signs of trouble might alert us as well, but with the danger just beneath the surface, we could easily miss the signals. How simple it would be to become trapped in the swirl of evil, ignoring the voices of experience and the little warnings that tug only gently at our conscience! On the surface, all looks relatively smooth, and it is tempting to ignore the little whirlpools, the small signs that should give us pause.

I kayaked carefully through that section and thought about my country. I thought about my recent trip to the Community College bookstore, where an openly lewd calendar sat on the counter to greet the eager, bright students as they purchased their books. Young people came and went, glanced at that calendar, and glided by, as though there were no treacherous rocks beneath their feet.

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Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies. But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death. Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers, from the snares they have laid for me. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety. (Psalm 141:4, 8-10 NIV)

When they came to the place called “The Skull,” they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father! They don't know what they are doing.” They divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice. (Luke 23:33, 34 GNT)





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