A catastrophic accident can happen when you least expect it, and, early one morning, it almost did. The rain-soaked ground in front of the horses’ feed trough and the incline on which I usually stand were both slick with mud. I was behind schedule and in a hurry. Just as I lifted the feed bucket, I stepped forward with one foot, leaned over the fence, and dumped the food into the trough.

Everything happened in an instant. My foot slipped. I lost my balance and went down hard. My bottom hit the mud and I started to slide feet-first.

Since my feet were already under the feed trough, nearly to the horses’ hooves, I grabbed the barbed wire and held on tight. In that same instant, I shouted “Jesus help,” prayed not to end up under the surprised horses’ feet, and dreaded the barbed wire ripping into my hands. 

My hold on the barbed wire stopped the descent a few inches short of the horses’ restless hooves. I hung there for a few seconds, caught my breath, and surveyed the damage. Blood oozed from a tiny puncture in the palm of my hand. My backside was wet and gooey from the mud, but my bones all seemed fine.

After I scooted back up the little rise, I dumped the hay in the rack and thanked God all the way home.

Two important things stopped my slide down the slippery slope.

  • I called for Jesus
  • I reached out for something on which I could depend. 

You might not think a barbed wire fence is “dependable” but my son Ryan built that fence. The posts are solid and the wire is tight. I knew it would hold me.

The Slippery Slope of Life

A fast trip down the slippery slopes of life can happen just as quickly – a flirtation with a coworker, a casual one-time lifestyle choice of a mind-altering substance, a shopping spree that’s a little too big. One choice in a not-quite-right direction can send us hurtling down a path we would never choose for ourselves.

How to avoid the catastrophe of consequences

  • Stay on the paths of righteousness.
  • Repent quickly when we make a mistake.
  • Call out to Jesus.
  • Cling to Him. 

I knew the barbed wire would hurt before I grabbed it, but I also knew it would be worth it. In that same way, there’s a beautiful pain that accompanies confession of sin and repentance. It’s much less, however than a continued hurtle into disaster. The minor discomfort of humbled pride, confessed sin, and true repentance is worth the blessing of restoration.

Let’s take a moment to consider our recent choices. Are we firmly on the path God has set before us or have we taken a first tiny step off the path? Is a slippery slope just ahead? If we need a course correction, let’s stop now and make it, before we propel ourselves into disaster. 

We can live the life of a disciple, but only if we make one right choice after another, with a quick step back when our feet begin to stray. 

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1,3

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