In 1993 our family took a trip out west. It was our oldest daughter’s year of high school graduation and we knew family vacations were going to be in short supply from that point on. One of our stops was at the Custer Memorial, as you might guess, the scene of Custer’s last stand. While there I was on the walking path and looked down to see a sign:
PLEASE STAY ON THE PATH. SNAKE DANGER.
(or something like that). Yeah, like they had to tell me twice! In fact, as I recall, I spent very little time on that path at all.
The late evangelist, Billy Sunday, a predecessor to Billy Graham’s type of evangelism, once stated “too may Christians treat sin like cream puffs instead of the rattlesnake which it is.” That reminded me of that stopover at Custer’s Last Stand. It also led to some reading on rattlesnakes. Did you know the baby rattlesnake is actually deadlier than the adult rattlesnake? (They are both deadly obviously, but hear me out). They say it is because the baby rattler gets so nervous and excited that it strikes and releases more venom at one time, whereas the adult rattler has better control. Well…that’s always nice to know. I reckon I won’t think a baby rattler is so cute and reach down to pet it or pick it up. How about I just never run into one and call life “pleasant” as a result?
My point is this: Don’t be fooled by what appears to be small misdeeds. Good things don’t always come in small packages. Dynamite. Poison. Diapers. All kidding aside, and in total seriousness, yielding to small things often leads to bigger things. If not right away, it begins to lay conditions for smaller sins to become bigger ones.
We often use the phrase “faithful in little, faithful in much” when referring to being accountable with God’s blessings. Perhaps we can use that phrase when referring to sin as well. If we learn to turn away from the “little” snakes that come into our path, perhaps it will be easier to say “No” to the bigger ones that block our way. Or maybe we can take the view this man had. Me? Ain’t no way I am going to get close to them. Not a bad idea for the snake of sin either.
Any thoughts to share today? As I write this, Jo and I have briefly mentioned leaving town for the night and not take any iPad, books, or computer with us. If that happens, I will not approve or respond to messages right away. I’m sure you understand.