The newspaper headline was ominous. A potentially deadly virus had been detected in our area and health officials were concerned. It was unnerving because the virus is carried by a common rodent and can be contacted just by breathing in the dust in an infected area. The article gave specifics about what to do if you discover a dead rodent and later I went on the web to learn more. The information stated that it wasn't enough to just clean up the area. In fact, attempting to do so was dangerous, since sweeping would stir up the infected dust. Details were given on how to wet down the area with a solution of water and bleach, and caution was given about wearing gloves and a mask. It was a relief to know that though the danger was real, the prevention was relatively easy.
There are a lot of dangerous, even deadly things in this world. There are also a lot of pitfalls ? dangerous and deadly traps - that we can fall into spiritually. The Bible has a simple, three letter word for them ? sin. Sin can be unnerving because it's so common, so easy to slip into and so devastating if it is sustained. Sometimes, even when we try to clean it up, it seems like deadly dust results. But it's a relief to know there is a prevention. The guidelines are relatively easy to follow. All we need is the . . .
But we had been cautioned to be careful. There were certain kinds of shells there which contained a creature that was deadly. Tourists who weren't in the know had died because of them. We had to learn which were safe and which were not. We had to learn that some things, even though they look beautiful, can be dangerous. As I watched my daughters pick the shells from the sand, I was thankful for the warnings we had received, thankful that we could rely on the wisdom of those who knew the dangers.
In the same way, we sometimes have to be careful about spiritual things in our lives. We have to understand that not everything that looks and sounds good is true or even . . .
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