Flirting with Disaster

Flirting with Disaster

Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD. Genesis 13:12-13

Once, during college, I was working my summer job when I found myself driving the company van through a construction zone. I don’t know why, but I began swerving as close to those orange construction barrels as I could, without hitting them. I had no intention of making contact. I wasn’t trying to wreck anything. I was just being a dumb 20-year-old. Eventually of course, I did strike one, doing some minor damage to the front of the van. I later had to explain to my boss what happened. Did you do it on purpose? If you didn’t want to hit one, why were you driving so close to them?

I can look back and laugh at my stupidity now, but I’ve done this in other areas of life as well. At work, when there’s a bakery box, I need to open it, even though I have no intention of eating what’s inside. I just need to know what I’m missing. Eventually though, if I spend enough time near to those donuts, they end up in my belly. When I was struggling with chemicals, I knew that my workplace was a trigger – that’s eventually where I got my pills – but I couldn’t stop going there. I had to do my job. I wanted to quit, but when I spent enough time near those pills, I eventually consumed them.

Spending time near a thing means that thing will eventually impact our lives, even if we never intended for it to do so. This is the lesson of today’s passage. In the story, Lot – Abram’s nephew – moved as close to Sodom as he could, without living in it. Sodom was known for its evil, and Lot should have stayed far away, but there was good land here and so, he got close. As we’ll see in the coming passages, Lot eventually paid dearly for his mistake. We can’t live that close to evil without it touching our lives.

It’s obvious to us when we see someone else doing it. When the alcoholic goes to the bar with his friends, we can see that he’s putting himself at risk. To the one doing it though, it’s not always so apparent. I won’t do meth, I’ll just smoke weed. I don’t want to be unfaithful, I’ll just look at porn. We can’t play with fire though, without eventually getting burned, and we can’t flirt with self-destructive behaviors without them eventually impacting our lives.

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