Over the Edge
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong."1
"Back in 1911 a stuntman named Bobby Leach went over Niagara Falls in a specially designed steel drum—and lived to tell about it.
"Although he suffered minor injuries, he survived because he recognized the tremendous dangers involved in the feat, and he had done everything he could to protect himself from harm. Several years later, while walking down a street in New Zealand, Bobby slipped on an orange peel, fell, and badly fractured his leg. He was taken to a hospital where he died of complications from that fall. He received a greater injury walking down the street than he sustained in going over Niagara Falls. He was not prepared for danger in what he assumed to be a safe situation."2
I've visited Niagara Falls several times and have never ceased to marvel at the breath-taking beauty and the incredible power of the millions of gallons of water rushing over the falls every second. I've been extremely careful to view the falls from a very secure position. If you stood in an unsafe place, one slip and you'd be gone.
When it comes to life's temptations, we're very much aware of and are careful to avoid the ones that "roar around us like the rushing waters of Niagara." But like Bobby slipped on an orange peel, it is extremely easy for us to ignore the seemingly "little" temptations that slip up on us silently but don't appear to carry any threat. However, a little drink here, a tiny taste of a drug there, a small gamble now and then, a tiny indulgence in lust, a quick look at a pornographic website … can lure us and ever so slowly, little by little, draw us closer to the edge … and we wake up and discover to our dismay that we have slipped over the line into an addiction that has us hopelessly trapped.
No wonder the Scriptures warn us to be on our guard … and "If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!"3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me realize just how vulnerable I am and susceptible to life's 'little' temptations, and that daily I need to commit and trust my life and way to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV).
2. KneEmail, Mike Benson, Editor.
3. 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV).