..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ignoring the Caution Tape

The last hurricane brought a tree limb down to rest on our power and utility lines. Thankfully, they did not
break under the weight, but they did slowly, inch by inch, take out our neighbor's cable and phone lines.
Despite a predicted long wait, the electric crew came quite rapidly : all seven of them and 4
trucks! They taped off the whole area, including over an adjacent  public sidewalk, with yellow
caution tape. They put yellow tape on the downed cable and phone lines. They cut off the offending
limb and drove off leaving my front yard looking like a war zone of  tree carnage.

Over the next few days we had a lot of lookers, and people passing by  made a wide path around
"whatever happened in that yard."  I learned a lot about people in my neighborhood.
Well, its hard to tell exactly what is now fixed as there is still one line down, kind
of hanging limply across the sidewalk. I suspect its an old fashioned telephone landline and
since these days that is kind of antiquated technology,  maybe its just not necessary for our
neighbors to get it fixed. I don't know.

What I want to write about is the caution tape. At first, people really obeyed it, and
walked onto the street to avoid the area. But between this and that,
part of the tape kind of lost it's way, and with it, lost it's authority, and I noticed that
people started to just walk under the downed line, the first time a little gingerly,
and then, with a "whatever" attitude as they walked down the street with their
DD coffee or cell phone or dog or what have you. I now do it myself.

The scary lesson is this: Is this how moral conscience gets hardened?
Is this how we become deaf to the leading of the Spirit? Is this how we
enter into dangerous or temptation laden situations when we know that God
has roped them off  for good reason?

At first we steer clear, then it becomes too much work to walk around
them, then we lose our fear, then we think we are safe and can handle
it when maybe the wire is still live and we are not safe at all. And maybe
we haven't radically cut off the offending limb that started the whole
situation, as Jesus told us to do, in  order to make it into the Kingdom,
even if we limp in?. (Mark 9::43)

Who are we to judge whether we can ignore what has been
already deemed as someplace to tread carefully? A phone line can
still give a small jolt but an overhead suburban power line can fry me
a thousand times over. I can't really tell the difference because
I'm not trained in that area. So are you willing to take a
chance based on your level of spiritual knowledge? That
would be about like playing Russian Roulette with your soul.
 "If I have spoken to you of earthly things and you didn't get it, then how
can I speak of heavenly ones?" Jesus said to Nicodemus,
(of whom He thought should have known better.) (John 3:12).

God has given us the Holy Spirit to warn us, to guide is
in the safe way, to show us when to "go home by another
way." (Matthew 2:16-18).  But are we listening, and more
importantly, do we CONTINUE to listen? We can start out well,
but our enemy would be just as happy to kill us on
round 18 as he would on round 1.

I've started to look around for caution tape in my life.
Hoping that I'm not knee deep in spiritually broken
electrical wire. You might want to take a look
around yourself. There have been a lot of storms,
of every sort, of late. Don't be foolish. Take care.

I would cautiously hasten to say that, past how
this applies to all of us,  this is a  specific
message to someone out there. If you've
gotten a caution from the Lord, but are still
thinking of proceeding with your course
of action: DON'T.  If you wanted a sign
Here it is:

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