Pitfall

February 23, 2006
by John Stuart

Psalm 35:7 – They hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me. (NIV)

When I was about ten years old, my brother Andy, a few friends, and I dug a pit on a waste piece of ground. It was about three feet deep, and at the bottom was a puddle of oily water. We thought it looked great and started to cover it up with sticks, tree branches, and grass. We relished the idea of someone innocently coming along and falling into it. All morning, we waited in ambush in the deep grass surrounding the pit, ready to rush out and whoop like savages if someone got caught in it. But nothing happened. No one passed by. No one came our way.

So, we decided to call one of Andy's friends, who lived about a mile away, to get him to come with us to the pit and cause him to fall in. We enticed Robert to come, by promising him that he'd be part of a wonderful surprise. Robert eagerly took the bait and jumped on a double-decker bus to get to us. Within fifteen minutes, Robert would be walking over the pit, and we would be laughing at his predicament.

But it never happened. Robert was so eager to be with us that when he left the bus, he ran in front of it and got hit by a passing taxi. His hip and both his legs were badly broken. He spent three months in hospital, and it took him another six months to recover fully. Andy and I still share the shame and guilt of that terrible day, when Robert almost lost his life because of our stupid prank.

There are times when we do things recklessly and seek to get our own way, which ultimately brings harm, hurt, and pain to other people. As Christians, we need to filter our decisions and actions through the Spirit of God, in order to do the right thing and not be led astray by our own vanity, pride, and bad behaviour.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep us from foolish choices and selfish actions. Help us to rely upon Your Spirit to guide and direct us today. Deliver us from the pits of self-deception and lead us on Your holy path. In Your name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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