Not long ago my wife and I took our grandchildren to an amusement park in New Hampshire. We had a great time. Without question, our granddaughter’s favorite ride was the log ride. She had this love/hate feeling going on about the steep drop into the water where she got all wet. She said “I loved it, expect the part I didn’t like very much.” Whether you are 4 or 40, such rides can be a lot of fun. Perhaps they are so much fun because they scare us, even though deep inside we know we are safe. It is almost like seeing just how far we can go into danger, without actually getting hurt. For most of us, that is actually a caricature of our lives.
We like to live on the edge, seeing just how far we can go before getting in trouble. That desire to embrace danger while denying the potential for hurt is actually part of our fallen sinful nature. No, I’m not saying amusement parks are sinful. I’m saying that tendency to see how close we can get to trouble - without actually paying the price for it - comes from our sinful nature.
While rides at an amusement park might be safe, even if they scare us, when we toy with sin and live dangerously close to sinful life choices, there is no way to keep hurt and pain from finally impacting us.
The ugly truth is that sin destroys us. While our sinful nature wants to live on the edge, hoping the thrill will outweigh the cost, it never works out that way. Sin always takes us farther than we wanted to go, keeps us longer than we wanted to stay and costs us far more than we thought we would have to pay. We must determine to live holy lives and not get caught up in sin.
Lord, help us keep our hearts turned to You so that the wiles of the world do not lure us into harm’s way. Amen.
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett serves at the executive director of the Baptist Convention of New England.