Take heed! Potential danger ahead!

A bouquet of poinsettias looks innocent. The radiant color lights up the room and somehow brings peace to a mind that has constantly been in flight during a long day. Looking skin deep, this may be the case, but if we look a little deeper, there are dark intentions behind its sitting on the windowsill. Within the veins of this plant is a milky sap that is a potential danger to young children and pets if touched or consumed (there have only been two confirmed deaths due to consumption of this plant).

With this scenario in mind, let me tell you a story:

Walking into the dining hall of a castle, it's the sight you would usually see in a movie set in the 1500s: long, sturdy, possibly made of concrete, tables that stretch from one end of the room to the other with each side packed with happy and rowdy people. Nothing is too out of the ordinary until I walk along the side of the room and notice that different people are served distinctly different kinds of soups: one kind is a nasty looking brown color with a LOT of either beef broth or gravy (not sure which, maybe both) that is primarily meat-based with an oatmeal consistency. The other kind is a bright orange with a prominent essence of sweet potato and, oh!, mushrooms (Lord knows how much I love mushrooms) with some sausage, too.

Which am I served as soon as a chef turns to me? Brown.

Deep down, I'm really bummed because I obviously really want this orange soup, but my gut tells me to keep my comments to myself and be grateful for what I'm served. My curiosity overwhelms me, so I walk to the end of the table to a man and ask, "Why are there two soups served tonight? What's the difference?"

I'm taken aback in what feels like a twinge of fright when he turns around (with good reason, too, because he resembles a combination of Snape and Cardaggian, both of which are very intimidating looking people) and responds with a bit of a smirk, "The orange? It's poison. The mushrooms are deadly to eat and the potatoes are rotten."

People sitting in near proximity to us at the table overhear the man and sit in shock as they look at their full bowls of orange soup. Despite the warning of their fate if they so chose to continue indulging in this vile sustenance, they continue to eat and socialize as if they never heard that the food was poison. I fear for the people. Why don't they listen? Why would they continue to eat when they KNOW that it will end them soon?


"But you are not like [those people who have left the church], for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. So I am writing to you not because you don't know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. ... I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ" (1 John 2:20-21,24-25).
The life that God has prepared for us may not the most glamorous. A lot of the time, it's very hard because we have to get down and dirty in order to walk down the narrow path that God has called us to. When we look around, there are people who are living a walk in the park. We may want that because we are tired of the struggle, but living an easy life doesn't necessarily mean that it is the best! Jesus said Himself that "wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction" (Matthew 7:13). The New Living Translation of the Bible translates "the road that leads to destruction" as "the highway to hell." Wow!

Remember that the life God has given you is perfect, and with every rough patch, He has a plan to strengthen you. Do not fall into the mindset of wanting someone else's life because the struggle is becoming too unbearable.  I know this is a cliche and it's hard to believe in the heat of the moment, but TRUST that God will help you through the rough times. Walking the easy road is not worth it if it means that we have to turn our backs on God.

God bless!