May 31, 2015
Now that the paddle season is back in full swing, I'm seeing a lot more people coming out and trying paddle boarding for the first time. Just about every weekend, there always seems to be a few newbies who, despite being instructed to stay out of the middle of the river, go right to the middle of the river and then lay on their boards and stay there. I saw this just last weekend during the Memorial Day holiday.
There's a reason why paddlers are instructed to stay out of the middle of the river. It can be dangerous because of speeding boat traffic and barges (which, like trains, cannot stop quickly). It is especially dangerous during summer holidays when there is even more boat traffic.
This reminds me of the times in my life when I was told by my parents not to do certain things (i.e. like playing in the street). They told me these things to protect me from various dangers. Our Heavenly Father also instructs His children in His Holy Word not to do certain things in order to protect us from the dangers of this world.
Someone recently shared with me a movie quote that says the Bible is not what it has been previously referred to by many, "Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth," but instead it's God's love letter to us. Well, I say it's both, because a loving father shows his love in many ways, including providing his children with instruction to protect them from the dangers lurking in our world (we know from Job 1:7 that Satan roams throughout the earth). And there can be some consequences (both subtle and obvious) when choosing to ignore God's instruction. Not necessarily because He is punishing us, but instead because we chose to open ourselves up to the evil from which He is trying to protect us (1 Peter 5:8 says Satan is poised to pounce).
There are plenty examples of this in the Bible, especially among the Israelites when they chose to ignore God's command to not put other gods before Him and instead adopted some of the pagan practices of the surrounding nations. You could probably say they were "playing in the middle of the street" (or the middle of the river!) by dabbling in those forbidden practices. We should never forget what Proverbs 3:5-6 says: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."