You see, when I walk around in the dark, I am very cautious. I know that tiny toys and elusive pieces of furniture are out there, and I try to be light on my feet just in case I am lucky enough to encounter one. However, when the lights are on, I throw caution to the wind. I mean I can see what is in front of me, so there is no need to be careful. Right?
That’s where Chewie comes in. My son has a very small Chewbacca action figure that just happens to be a perfect match to the color of my living room rug. About three out of every five times, I completely look over Chewie when I am cleaning up toys. Then, inevitably, I will be stomping through my living room on my way to get a donut and get a sole full of Wookiee. The pain is indescribable.
The parallel to Christianity is obvious on this one, right? No need for me to go any further. But if you insist, I’ll elaborate.
I feel like the greatest dangers that we face in our faith are hidden in plain sight. Whenever we talk about temptation or sin, we dramatize it and make it out to be a predator lurking in the dark or an assassin hiding behind a bush. So when we feel like we are in a shady situation or in a moment of weakness, we are quick to put our guard up. If we have been soaking in righteousness and living out our faith, we will be prepared to withstand that temptation and defeat the sin that threatens us.
However, there are troubles waiting all around us that are so easy to ignore. There are temptations around every corner than we barely notice anymore because we have allowed them to blend in with our environment. There are stumbling blocks everywhere in our path that we don’t see because we aren’t cautious enough to watch where we step.
Affairs don’t begin in sketchy hotel rooms. They start by spending a few extra minutes every day in a coworker’s office. Losing your sobriety doesn’t just happen in an old country bar. It begins with a decision to turn down a familiar street or to hang out with some questionable old pals.
The enemy is sneaky and very cunning. It’s like Keyser Söze (Kevin Spacey) said in The Usual Suspects, "The greatest thing the devil ever did was convincing the world he didn't exist."
Unfortunately, we fail to recognize the dangers that are right in front of us every day. We lack the awareness and constitution to distinguish these stumbling blocks from the background of our everyday routines.
Personally, to avoid the pain and suffering that comes with ignoring those dangers in plain sight, I plan to paint Chewbacca bright red so that he will never go unnoticed again. Perhaps we should do the same with those temptations and sins that always seem to blend in so well.
Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! (Matthew 18:7 NIV)