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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Falling

So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don't do it, you sin. (James 4:17 TNIV)


When I was working construction as a young man, my boss asked me before we went up on the roof: "Are you afraid of heights?"  I made some tongue-in-cheek remark to him because I thought he was kidding around with me.  (Joking was his normal pattern.)  After my remark, he told me he was serious.  He knew some people did not like heights and wanted to know my perspective before sending me on a roof.


One of my co-workers was fearless...almost to a fault.  He would walk out to the edge of the roof and lean over.  He would walk along the top of 2x4 walls that were 2...even 3 stories up without fear.  I even watched him put a ladder up on top of a thin wall two stories up and climb the ladder.  (It wasn't an "approved" move on his part but it was over before any of us could stop him.)


Another person I worked with was a professional football player.  We were building his house and he wanted to help out.  The man was an offensive lineman and bigger than any two of us put together.  He hated being on the roof with us.  He was deathly afraid of falling.  He would stay 5 feet away from any edge and always walk on all 4 limbs when moving around.  It was a sight to see.


I fall somewhere in between these two extremes.  I don't ask for trouble, but I'm not afraid to walk out to the edge of the roof...when there's a purpose (like nailing on shingles or lowering tools down to the ground).  I recognize that there is a real danger of falling and that falling can be painful...even fatal.


God tries to warn us about the "edges" of the potholes in life.  He tries to tell us that when we go over the edge and fall in, it is fatal.  Everyone responds to this reality differently, but the reality is the same.  His rules, like gravity, are something we can count on.  The results (also like gravity) are also something we can count on.  It's best to simply respect what God's telling us and stay away from the edge unless there's a real reason to go there (like pulling somebody back from the edge).  In the end...you don't want to fall.