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Sunday, December 25, 2016
It is just one "small price" for the ride
Who has impeded your progress and kept you from obeying the truth? You were off to such a good start. I know for certain the pressure isn’t coming from God. He keeps calling you to the truth. You know what they say, “Just a little yeast causes all the dough to rise,” so even the slightest detour from the truth will take you to a destination you do not desire. (Galatians 5:7-9 VOICE) Have you been to the mall this holiday season? Have you seen all the beautiful displays and colorful window dressings? In one local mall, there is this small train you can purchase a ride in, complete with an older man dressed in engineer overalls and cap. He blows the train's whistle and takes the riders to destinations throughout the mall, all at the "small price" of whatever it is he charges. We know the prices is not all the "small" anymore, though, because the rocking horse that used to cost a quarter in my day now costs a dollar! Even a child's fun has escalated in cost! Yet, children beg their weary parents laden down with purchases galore for "just one ride" on this magical train. There are moments of melt-down for some whose parents resist the idea of paying that "small price" for such a short ride, and other moments of prideful glee of those whose parents just give in instead of enduring the tantrum. You know, there are things all around us touting that their enjoyment will only require a "small price" in order to enjoy their "ride", but in actuality, that "small price" is much more like the multiplied price the parent must pay since he/she must go along for the ride since no good parent would let their child go off alone with a total stranger! The "price" begins to mount up when you consider the impact of even one compromise - one ride on the train may not seem like much, but it is the cost of those who must "come along" that makes it a little too steep of a price to pay! A destination you do not desire - - - we probably all have realized we were going in that direction at one time or another. Unaware of the real cost of that small compromise, we were "taken in" by some skillfully placed distraction which touted just a "small price". The "small" soon adds up to the "bigger" and the "bigger" soon becomes the "larger". I don't know about you, but five dollars to ride the carousel, a dollar to ride the rocking horse, or even twenty dollars to jump for three minutes suspended from the length of a bungie cord seems like a "small price" to pay when we consider it as a "one-time" thing. The problem is that one thrill enjoyed brings with it the desire to repeat the thrill! Each time the child passes the vendor's booth, there will be this incessant pleading to "do it again". Why? For just a moment or two, we had "fun" - we let our imaginations carry us away and we had some degree of "fun", although it might have been short-lived. Most compromise is not really all that "big" in comparison to where it is we are headed. It is one "small price" added to the next that begins to add up, though! Heaven help the parent whose child it is that recognizes his classmates are getting to ride without him - the pressure just escalated tenfold for that parent! The one who is making the ride look so enjoyable isn't really desiring to ride it alone - he wants companions along for the ride! God doesn't cause us to compromise, nor does he put compromise in our paths. We might want to blame someone for the "ride" we are about to embark upon, but hear this clearly - - - the ride is only appealing because we think it will have a lasting enjoyment which begins with just one short ride! The truth is quite the opposite, for that very short ride plants a yearning deep into our hearts that gets "tickled" every time we pass by that place of our first "short ride" down sin's road of compromise. God is calling us to truth - - - he is the one helping us to realize the "small price" touted is really not all that small - but we must listen to his voice of reason and recognize the voice of love as that which doesn't desire to keep us "from" enjoyment, but wants to move us into places where we will be certain of "continued enjoyment". Just sayin!