James 1:22 – Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (NIV)
I can remember riding my first bike in the local park. It was a shiny red Tri-ang bicycle with a Mickey Mouse bell and a fourteen-inch front wheel. It had a wee satchel on the back of it, and when I rode it, I thought I was "King of the Road". My dad told me to be careful with it, especially going downhill. He insisted that I learn how to brake properly, but I was young, enthusiastic, and arrogant. Everything that he said to me went quickly in one ear and out of the other.
At the local park, there was a ferocious hill leading down to the iron-railing gate. Lengthwise, the hill was about 500 yards with a 1:5 gradient. My sister Anne was walking down it with her school friends, heading back home for dinner. I, of course, was showing off, and started to pedal madly like a demonic dirt bike rider. The faster I pedalled, the faster the bike went — until I could not keep up with the rotating pedals. I was freewheeling down the hill … no, actually I was flying down the hill. I felt great and was certain that all of Anne's friends would be wonderfully impressed.
There were only two problems: the iron gate at the bottom of the hill and my lack of practice applying the brakes. I desperately tried to grip the brake with my hand, but my white-knuckled fists couldn't let go of the handlebars. The gates were now advancing towards me at an astonishing rate, and there was nothing I could do. I impacted the gates and busted the bike, the front wheel, and my head. I ended up in the ER and needed many stitches for my gaping wound.
If only I had listened and done what my dad told me!
The Scriptures are God's word for all of us — to guide us when things are going downhill and to lead us to make better choices. But the only way God's word becomes a living word is by hearing it and applying the Scriptures in our own lives.
Prayer: Lord, there are decisions, choices, and events that we are going to experience today. Enable us to talk to You in prayer, to seek Your godly counsel, and to adhere to Your sacred words. Help us to apply Your gospel and teachings throughout this day. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.