2004-01-17 - The Little Ones
A couple years ago, my husband, our dog and I enjoyed a cross-country driving vacation. When we returned, a friend at church expressed astonishment that we had not suffered any flat tires. That led me to ponder the fact that since we began using radial tires, we have had only four flat tires in the past twenty years.
Through the last two decades, there have been times when we would hit something and be positive it would flatten our tires. If you live in a big city (or near a rural interstate), you probably know how it is when you are driving on a freeway and there is parallel traffic in both lanes, so you simply can't avoid running over a mattress, a piece of plywood, or who knows what kind of gnarly metallic object. You cringe, but when you check the tire later, there is no damage.
All four times we did have a flat tire, the flats were not caused by something "obvious," something easily seen. Rather, they were caused by tiny nails and one inch-wide piece of glass. Every time, we never even knew what hit us.
Isn't sin like that, too? Most of you reading this haven't committed the particularly "heinous" sins such as murder, child molestation, rape or torture. But it seems to me that it's most often what some (and American culture in general) view as the "little ones," (or even as virtues, at times) that really do us in spiritually. And they snowball. It's greed (condoned and encouraged by lottery ticket sales, movies etc.) that sometimes entices people to get involved in illegal activities (such as drug trafficking) in order to satiate the lust for material goods. It's pride that prevents people from accepting the help God provides, and thus stagnates their growth as Christians, and pride that disrupts relationships that God yearns to reconcile.
Join me in praying a sometimes-frightening prayer, that God will show us the "little ones" in our lives, that are keeping us from (to quote a commercial for the U.S. Army) "being all we can be," in Christ.