Ex 23:2 BBE Do not be moved to do wrong by the general opinion.
We never know what a day will bring. And we cannot imagine how we might get dragged into events that we never expected. Sometimes this can be good, and sometimes–well, let me tell you what happened yesterday.
Elijah, my two-year-old grandson, wanted to go somewhere. He pulled his mom (Rachel) and me to the car, and we all crawled inside. He climbed into his car seat and we asked him where we were going. “Wal-Mart,” he said.
We were tired and neither of us wanted to go to Wal-Mart, so I said, “How about Goodwill?” Goodwill is just around the corner and much easier to get into and out of than Wal-Mart. Plus, I like it better, so if I had to go somewhere that was a better choice.
Eli agreed to that by repeating “Goodwill.” So off we went.
Everything went fine until we got to the back of the store where the toys are. Then Rachel said, “Look, Mom, a pogo stick! Elijah, look what Nomma is going to do.”
Now, to this point, I had been coerced to the car and enticed into going to Goodwill, neither of which I really wanted to do. And now, here I was being presented with an amazing pogo stick. Everybody loves a pogo stick, right? Who would miss the opportunity to jump on one if someone said, “Look! A pogo stick!”
I am not sure the pogo stick still had the rubber on the bottom and I know Goodwill’s floor is slippery. I even considered those issues at the time. But did they stop me? Of course not!
I did great for two or three jumps. But then on the next jump, the stick slipped right out from under me and I went straight backward to the hard floor. The back of my bottom hit hard and then the back of my head hit.
I managed to pull myself up and retrieve my purse, phone, and keys that I had laid on the baby clothes bin, and then I quickly ambled around the bin to creep to the floor because I was about as sick as I have ever been from pain. I sprawled onto the floor and rested my head on a small toy workbench.
I thought I was going to vomit and I also feared I was fixing to lose consciousness. I could feel myself drifting away, and I was scared I would never come back. So I slowly lifted my head and forced my eyes open, and cried out to God to help me (should have done that before I got on the stick!). Almost immediately I began to feel a little better.
In time I pulled myself up by the bin and held onto it and stood for a bit. But the nausea came back, so I moved back to the floor and the workbench. I considered having Rachel call Seth (my older son) to come and take us home, but instead I waited to see how I would feel. Finally I was able to gradually get to my feet and stand for a while. Eventually I told Rachel I thought I could walk, and we slowly left the store, got back into the car, and came home.
I did not plan to get into the car in the first place. I had no desire to go to Goodwill. And I surely did not intend to hop onto a pogo stick. I most definitely did not purpose to create a big sore knot on the back of my head or pain so bad in my bottom that I could not bear to touch it. But it all happened because I allowed others to lead me.
It is perfectly all right to allow others to have their way. And I enjoy not knowing what is going to happen, living in the moment and participating in activities that happen to pop up in a day. But I cannot help but think that our spiritual lives can become as messed up as our physical bodies can if we are not careful about whom we follow and where we follow them. We can easily be led into actions we should not perform, or away from good behavior that we desire to achieve.
We do not mean to let other people or other thoughts, ideas, or events cause us to take leave of our senses and fail to keep a strong relationship with God, or spend our time praising Him or serving Him. It is not our plan to go places and participate in events that might dishonor the Lord or hurt us spiritually. We certainly never want to influence others, who might observe our behavior, to lose sight of their own spiritual goals.
After I fell, Rachel said, “Well, the good thing is, Mom, I don’t think anyone saw you.” That is indeed a good thing. I am grateful. And I praise God that I was not hurt any worse than I was.
Moral of this story? One, think for yourself. Two, pray in advance. And three, pay attention when your head is screaming, “Danger, Will Robinson!”
I have no idea what today will bring. But one contraption it will not bring for me is a pogo stick.