We scoped out the perfect spot for optimal relaxation. After paddling out past the waves, we got comfortable on our rafts. Basking in the sun, we were oblivious to the looming danger. A freak wave built up and crashed 15 feet earlier than any of the other waves that day. We had no time to react, opening our eyes just in time to see the swell towering above us. The wave pounded over us, spinning and churning us like a washing machine. I couldn’t tell which direction the surface of the ocean was. The rope bordering the edges of the raft somehow got wrapped around my neck so the raft was dragging me along with the wave. Though it nearly strangled me, the raft probably saved my life since it eventually dragged me to shore. My bathing suit shifted significantly during the whole ordeal, but taking a breath took priority over any embarrassment I might be feeling.
A relaxing float on the waves while basking in the sun became a life-threatening tumble in the surf. The choices we make in the moment can seem enjoyable, until they’re not … until those choices create a path of destruction in our lives. Sin can appear attractive at first. Before we realize it, we’re being swept away and crushed by the weight of poor choices, nearly drowning in the spinning and churning waves.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
We made the mistake of letting down our guard that day at the beach. We spent every day at Newport Beach that summer after 8th grade. We were lulled into a complacency that put us in danger.
We must stand guard against sin. We have a very real enemy. Remaining alert to his schemes prevents us from being lulled into the danger of complacency. Let’s stand guard over our hearts and minds. Let’s refuse to be caught unawares.