Friday, May 19, 2017

Are Rules Made To Be Broken?

I love that I live within walking distance of the Swamp Rabbit Trail.  It's an ideal place (though sometimes a bit busy for my liking) for my morning prayer walks.  The trail stretches on for miles in either direction, so I can walk however long or far I choose on any given day.  Yes, it's a wonderful thing.

That being said, there are some who could use a good course in trail etiquette.  For example, if you're riding a bicycle and coming up behind someone,  you should make that person aware of your presence rather than speed past them and cause them to wet their pants.  Seriously, people!  But the one that really perturbs me is the "no passing" sections.  There are places where the trail zigs and zags or snakes around an obstacle.  In these areas, it is difficult and sometimes even impossible to see oncoming traffic.  For this reason, the "trail people" (I'm sure they have an official title, but I'm not sure what it is), have gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of all trail users.

They began by painting lines along the length of the trail.  A dotted yellow line means it's safe to pass while a solid yellow line indicates a no passing zone.  Sounds familiar, right?  Those lines might as well be invisible.  I could count on one hand how many people actually slow down and wait their turn rather than passing through those areas.  On the contrary, I cannot tell you how many times I've been run off the trail because someone attempted to pass, swerved to avoid oncoming traffic, and literally bumped me right off the trail.  How rude!

Obviously, I wasn't the only one who noticed this behavior because, before long, there were instructions painted on the trail itself at the start of these "no pass zones."  The instructions were clear and direct:  "Stay Right."  The letters are big and bold, impossible to miss.  But has it done any good?  Nope!  Lastly, they put up a series of signs warning trail users of the dangers ahead and to wait their turn rather than passing.  Still, the rules are ignored and people zip past, not caring whom they may run into or knock off the trail.  It infuriates me!

Honestly, I have to wonder if these people are as unwilling to follow the rules of the road as they are the rules of the trail.  If so, it's no surprise there are as many accidents as there are.  Why can't people understand that rules are there to help us and to keep us safe?  Furthermore, why don't they seem to realize that the rules of the land are not multiple choice?  They must all be obeyed, or there will be chaos.

Sadly though, we all do the same thing from time to time.  We're all guilty of committing those "little sins," you know, the ones we think don't really matter.  Going a few miles over the speed limit.  Overeating.  Telling a white lie.  Going home early from work a few days a week.  Omitting our daily time with God.  They're not big things like murder or rape or adultery, so they're not big deals, right?  Oh, so wrong!

Every sin is a big deal to God.  If all we ever did were those things we consider "little sins," Jesus would still have had to die for them.  Sin is sin!  There is no little or big.  So, when God tells us to do something, we ought to do it.  Otherwise, there is punishment for us, and it could cause someone else great harm.  Think about it this way, our failure to obey God in the "little things" could result in someone else getting pushed off the trail.  What trail?  The trail to truth.  The trail to eternal life.  When others see us claiming to be Christians but disobeying God's Word, they will likely turn away.  Why would they want that kind of faith?  Our disobedience in the "little things" could be leading others astray.

We must be careful and be on guard.  No sin is too small.  Each one cost Jesus His life.  And each one can serve as a hindrance in our ministry of leading others to Him.  Let's follow the guidelines set forth in the Bible and do our best to practice trail etiquette each and every day.  Other travelers will be grateful, and God will be pleased!

Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway. - Deuteronomy 11:1

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