"Too Close For Comfort"
November 20, 2017
2 Timothy 2:22 - So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
Looking back on our teenaged years, most of us must confess there were times that we did things which weren't too smart. We may have stayed up too late, partied too long, drove too fast, hung with the wrong kind of friends, and ingested things which should have remained untouched.
Most of us did those things because at the time they seemed harmless, or if they didn't seem harmless, they seemed like things we could do and survive.
Confessing all that, I have to admit I'm confused by the five teens in Michigan who occupied their time throwing rocks from a highway overpass on the traffic underneath them.
I'm confused. Was the purpose of the experience to hit the cars, miss the cars, or see how close they could come to the cars?
How long was the "game" to be played? How did they keep score? How did they know who won?
Yes, I have some questions.
Sadly, they are probably all questions that will go unanswered. You see, one of those young men threw a six-pound rock over the side of the overpass, and it went through the windshield of the car in which construction worker Kenneth White was driving.
White, the father of a five-year-old son, was killed by the stone.
The five teens that were playing the game have been arrested and are charged with second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and other violations. The young man who threw the rock is being tried as an adult, and if he is found guilty, could spend the rest of his life in jail.
What a terrible waste. How much better it would have been for everybody if that Scripture above would have been heard.
A long time ago, I heard of a company that was hiring a truck driver who would be traveling some narrow mountain roads. Three men applied and the first was asked, "How close to the edge can you drive?"
The driver thought and said, "A foot away."
The second driver was asked the same question. He also thought before he answered: "I can drive comfortably six inches from the edge of the road and the drop off."
The third driver fielded the same question by replying, "I don't drive close to the edge."
The answer of driver number three was the right one, and he got the job. It is also the right answer when it comes to temptation. In other words, those of us who have seen the sacrifice of the Savior, who know what Jesus suffered to win our forgiveness, do not honor Him by flirting with temptation.
Rather than seeing how close we can get to sin, we do our best to stay as far away as possible.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that our young people may make wise decisions. Keep them from friends who would lead them away from You. May all of us realize the wisdom in avoiding temptation rather than flirting with it. This we ask in the Name of our crucified and ever-living Savior. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Arden Dier for Newser on October 25, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries