Saturday March 12, 2011
I grew up in a small town of 200+ people. It was a small farming community in eastern Colorado called Seibert. It was a wonderful experience. Everyone knew you and you knew everyone. We got a weekly newspaper that gave the news of MaryJo visiting Twila on Tuesday afternoon and stayed for supper. Berta went to Denver to visit her relatives and stayed 3 days. Everyone knew your business and you knew everyone else’s business.
There were pros and cons as you might imagine. Everyone knew when you did something positive and everyone knew when you did something you weren’t supposed to do. Messages were drilled into you from church and from family to do the right thing. There was an unwritten and unspoken message to make wise and healthy decisions. It’s not all bad to have that external motivation to keep you on the straight and narrow road. Doing the right thing keeps you out of a lot of potential trouble. Going to church regularly! Staying close to healthy friendships! Seeking out wise counselors! Reading the bible! Staying away from unhealthy establishments! Doing the right thing can keep us from getting off track of God’s steps He has designed for us.
Take the case of a man in the Old Testament who was known as “A man after God’s own heart.” “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.” (II Samuel 11:1). Doing the right thing for David meant that he needed to go out to war with his troops. It’s in the spring of the year when it gets warmer and the winter clothes begin to come off and desires get aroused. Doing the right thing meant getting away from temptation. What follows is a huge black mark on David in his sleeping with another man’s wife and then ultimately killing the man due to the woman becoming pregnant.
I don’t want to count the number of times when I could have done the right thing and didn’t and ended up regretting my decisions and had to seek forgiveness. The positive thing we have today is the Holy Spirit residing within us if we have a relationship with God that enables and empowers us “to do the right thing.” I (we) can learn from our forefathers the effects of getting off track in our lives and doing our own thing. Getting back on track is as simple as admitting that we got off track, asking forgiveness and start doing the right thing.
This journey has a straight and narrow road, but it has as well side roads that seem wonderful to explore at the time but eventually end up as a dead-end. Choose wisely the road you take today.