"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I Ain't Scared

They call it The Grand Canyon, but "grand" doesn't even begin to express its scale. Standing at the Yavapai view point, safely behind the guard-rail, the scene is literally awe inspiring, even breathtaking. But if I were foolish enough to climb over the guard-rail and stand at the sheer drop into the canyon, "breathtaking" would no longer describe the feeling. Terror would be more like it.
      The difference between the two sensations is obvious. Viewing danger from a safe place is thrilling. Engaging that danger is something entirely different. Some people are into the adrenalin rush of risky behavior, knowing the same actions have injured or killed others. Or, they simply need to prove they aren't scared of danger.
      From my safe position on the visitors' path, behind the guard-rail, I would stare in disbelief at a daredevil who flouts the park's safety rules--and common sense--by precariously dangling his toes over the canyon's edge. Typically, such an idiot believes the rules are made just to spoil his fun.
      I have the same reaction to the daredevils who flout God's commands, plunging into their own way, believing that He issues those commands simply to spoil their fun. Somehow, the possibility that God is trying to protect them from the awful consequences of their actions never occurs to them.
      Of course, one great difference separates the toe-dangling fool from the God-defying fool. The guy at the canyon's edge doesn't have to take the Park Service's word that toe-dangling is stupid. He can see the sheer drop under his toes, and he's likely heard stories of others being killed while doing the same thing. But the guy who flouts God's laws can't see the future boded by his actions, any more than he can see the fate that befell the fools before him.
      It doesn't take faith in the National Park Service to believe that toe-dangling at the Grand Canyon can kill you. But God expects us to obey His commands by faith, because He is God.
      Psalm 111:10 says, "The fear(holy terror) of the Self-Existent One is the basis of wisdom. All those who practice His commands are smart. Eternal, are the songs of His praise." Those who defy God have good reason to quake in their boots. But those who live in obedience to Him can wisely say, "I ain't scared of God."

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