It Only Takes a Pebble
Going on walks with my darling wife is a great joy to me. Nineteen years ago we used to walk almost six miles daily. These days we don’t get out as often as we did, but we still do get out and walk together. Holding her hand makes me feel happy and secure. Sometimes we “exer-walk” so there isn’t much hand holding going on, but I still enjoy her presence. As we pop along we talk about the scenery, family, hopes, dreams, politics, religion and other stimulating topics. What I have observed over the years (and what my wife will readily tell you), is she is not the most surefooted person you will meet. She stumbles on curbs, cracks, pebbles, and I am quite certain she even trips on her own shadow at times. Because of this, I am always trying to make certain her steps are on solid ground. I will kick pebbles out of the way or make her aware they are in her path.
On a secular level, “We the people…” are walking along with representatives we have chosen. We constantly warn them of trouble on the path they are walking. We say, “don’t step here”, “don’t walk there”. We tell them what has happened when other people made the false steps they are about to take. At times, even other governments tell them, “Stop! Don’t go that way!” Yet, our representatives continue on as if they didn’t hear a thing anyone has said. They, of course, end up tripping all over themselves. Sometimes, folks trip over the unseen. It happens. The most surefooted of us will do so. However, when you trip over a known obstacle you could have avoided, you have no excuse.
Now my wife, she knows from past experience that she doesn’t want to fall or hurt herself. She heeds advice about oncoming trouble. Unfortunately, sometimes she trips and falls anyway. I don’t like to see her get hurt, but even worse, I don’t like it when I get hurt too. I can try to break her fall or she may just fall into me. Either way, the chances are we both end up scratched, dented, or sprained. This is one reason that I try to be proactive as possible in telling her about potential tripfalls.
In regard to our elected representatives, our concern for them is also directly related to our own safety. If they walk the road of enabling abortions, we see the tripping of the conscience of our society. Life is no longer considered sacred, but something easily tossed away. If they walk the road of homosexual marriages, we see the stumbling of the family unit. No longer is appropriate role given for youth, but only a tripping along about who they are and what they are supposed to do. If they walk the road reckless spending, the poor stewardship may result in a lack of being able to protect the nation. When a government starts tripping a whole lot of people are hurt. It only takes a pebble, something that wasn’t heeded and someone ends up getting injured.
On the religious level, many examples illustrate the principle that it only takes a pebble to stumble. The book of I Peter calls folks to keep their eye on the road of their salvation. It tells them to pay attention to the basics and remember the steps of their savior. The book of II Peter tells them to watch out for folks sending a deceptive message. False teachers would cause the Christians to trip up in their spiritual walk. Behaviors unapproved of by God would be encouraged. These pebbles cause the apostle Peter to holler out the warning “Look out!”, “don’t do this”,” remember where God said to step!”
Today, preachers everywhere warn the followers of God to beware of pebbles. Christians are great about avoiding logs in the road, but unfortunately, some do not avoid the pebbles. They stick with a behavior they heard someone else say was “O.K.”, or something that they feel isn’t really that big of a deal. As they continue in this behavior, not only are they spiritually laying in the middle of the road, but they are now a bigger stumbling block to others traveling the same road. Issues like petting, flirting, drinking, dancing, improper dress, courting outside of their faith, poor media diet, these are often the type of issues that result in spiritually banging up your knees and elbows. Rather than changing their behavior and heeding warnings, Christians get up and try the same behavior again and again, bringing harm to themselves and ultimately others. Eventually, they give up and don’t travel the road at all.
Whether the issue is of a secular or religious nature, when someone gives you warning, it is best to consider their advice. Proverbs 10:8 – The wise in heart will receive commandments; But a prating fool shall fall. Folks will generally warn you if it appears you will be hurt from a poor course of action. Even more so, if they think they are going to end up hurt because of your actions, they will say something. Be wise enough to consider their words instead of marching onward sure in your own steps. Proverbs 28:26 – He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool; But whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. Remember, regardless of who you are, someone, somewhere is walking in your footsteps: Luke 6:39 – And he spake also a parable unto them, Can the blind guide the blind? shall they not both fall into a pit?