A Voice in the
Wilderness

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"First New Car"
- or -
"Judge not According to Appearance"

"You can have Aeeeenything you want." What was the three-year-old birthday boy to do? Wall-to-wall bicycles, tricycles, push scooters, pedal cars. Red ones, blue ones...Oh, such decisions...decisions!!

It MOVED!!!

"I want THAT one!"

The little red pedal car was put in the trunk and we were headed home. Dad even got a bicycle horn which he later attached with horn button on the steering wheel, so it would 'beep' "Just Like Daddy's car!"

The trip home was to be a portend of my "life" with that car. A sudden jab of the brakes for a chicken or child on that rural Japanese road sent my head into the un-padded dashboard of the '48 Chevy. My dad tried to ease the forming lump a bit with the "cool" handle of his ever-trusty apple box hammer, for lack of ice.

I was to get a lump on the back of my head later, too, as the car tipped up on its back, with me ending up with head hitting the cobble stones.

For all the "excitement" of "it moved" at the store where another child was playing with it, as it rolled maybe 12 inches...now, in the reality of rural Japan, and no smooth sidewalks ...the car simply did not roll very well because of its crank/pedal mechanism. I did a lot of pushing with my feet, "Flintstone" style. The car did NOT "Goooo!"

Once we came back from furlough, matters were even worse. I had grown a bit, and no longer "fit" properly.

During the later years, MANY were the times I wished I had chosen a tricycle. Then, at least, I could have "stood" on the back rung and pushed, and I could then "Gooooo!"

But, I had made my choice. I could have had "anything" I wanted. I saw the little car "move." And wanted it.

How like "sin" this is! Satan said to Eve, "You will become like God..!"(Gen3:5) And Eve looks at the fruit, 'Oh how delicious it looks. I can become Oh, so wise!' But did not believe God's words that the "wages of sin is death."(Gen2:17,Rom6:23)

So Eve ate that fruit for her "12 inches" of apparent "movement." But suffered the consequences of expulsion from Paradise, labor and toil and sorrow...and ultimately, death.

Many times God's choices for us at first seem rather "boring." They just "sit there" like the trikes and bikes...not moving. Not "exciting." And Satan comes along and "moves" something to entice us. We get excited and follow...but it is not God's path for us.

"There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." (Prov 16:25) Or said another way, "The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him. (Pr18:17)

Do we "examine" what is presented before us? Paul writes, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?; unless indeed you are disqualified."(2 Cor 13:5)

When it comes to our "eternal destiny" we are bombarded with many enticements. Many "truths." Many of them, quoting the Scriptures, with "great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error."(2 Pet2:18) And many "are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage." (Jude 1:16)

As I recall, a "suggestion" had been made to me, as a couple of "tricycles" were 'selected' right in front of me. But they weren't "exciting!" They were just "sitting there." So "boring." But I chose the car, "over there" that appeared to have "life." It moved!!

You see, God puts "Life" right in front of us. Makes it easy to find. "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;"(Deu 30:19)

But all humanity "like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way...(Isa 53:6) In our own "human wisdom" we think we know the right way. But we only see finitely. We cannot see Truth.

God sets before us Truth and Life. We are instructed "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."(Jn7:24)

How do we do this? "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts."(Rom 13:14) Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."(John 14:6)

...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, (~Heb12:1-2)

Amen!


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