My wife and I and our two young kids were walking along Palm Beach on the Gold Coast, only days after a pretty serious week of storms. We were walking along the tide line, that obvious and constantly changing wet, wavy line in the sand made by the waves that had managed to race further up the beach than any of the others. This undulating line that marked the transition between wet and dry sand was dotted with literally hundreds of Blue Bottle Jellyfish, much to the giddy excitement of our son and morbid horror of our daughter.
As we walked along the line we had to carefully step over and around all these jellyfish to avoid being stung and at the same time keep our eyes on the on-coming waves to make sure they weren’t carrying any more of the stinging beasties onto our bare feet. And yet, we continued along that same hazardous path, step by cautious step almost without thought that maybe we shouldn’t be there. In fact our only thoughts were, “Wow there sure are a lot of jellyfish!” and “Boy I hope none of us get stung!”
It took longer than I would like to admit before my wife said, “Why don’t we just walk along a different path? If we take a step to either the left or the right we won’t have to dodge any of the jellyfish anymore!”
What a powerful analogy for trying to avoid sin and temptation as we walk through our lives. If we take a step to either the left or right and change our path, change where we are walking, all of a sudden we can find ourselves on a path that contains so much less sin and temptation and suddenly our walk towards God’s Kingdom becomes so much easier!
The fact is we all have a choice where we walk and what path we take. 1 John 1:6-7 says, “If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin.” (NET)
Why is it so hard sometimes to realise we are making life hard for ourselves because of the path we have chosen to walk? Let’s stop, look and assess where we are walking and whether we really should take a step to the left or to the right. Is it worth walking along the tide line dodging the jellyfish in the hope you don’t get stung? No, it’s really not.
John 8:12 says, “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”’ (NLT)