This morning, I watched my daughter drag her scooter to the top of the slide at the encouragement of her friends. Now had this been my son, it would have called for immediate action! However, since it was my daughter I watched for a few minutes. Sure enough, she had no intention of riding it to the bottom. It did remind me of a couple of events in my own life in which I did not take time to think before following through with what others were encouraging me to do. (There have been many, but I will stick with only two.)
The first event happened when I was about 9 or 10. The house I grew up in had a carport at one end. The roof was low enough that you could climb up on it by using a fence that was beside it. We did this all the time. One day, I was dared to jump off of it. It didn't seem like such a big deal, so I did! As I lay on the ground, with the air completely knocked out of me, I realized that was not such a good idea after all. Thankfully, the only thing injured was my pride.
The second event, was much more dangerous. When I was 16, I worked at a summer camp for children in Louisiana. I was about 5 hours from home, and the only one from Arkansas to work there. I felt like I had something to prove. One weekend between camp sessions, a large group of us rented one hotel room so we could swim, party, and drink. (Yes, I said drink.) The hotel we chose was located right behind a frozen mixed drink stand. The worker at the stand, never asked for an id. So I spent the evening sitting by the pool, sipping my drinks. (Please notice there is an s at the end of the word drink.) When the pool closed at 10:00, the group of about 12 headed to the room. Soon after, another group arrived. They had been to a liquor store. I don't remember what all they had, but one boy had tequila. He challenged me to a drinking competition. (Please keep in mind, this was my first real experience with drinking.) It was a dare, so of course I accepted the challenge. It seemed fun, after all there were three steps to the process, it was a real competition!! I don't remember a whole lot other than the fact that I ate the worm! Ewww!!! The next thing I knew, I was waking up on the end of a bed, still in my bathing suit, with a bunch of strangers passed out around me. Once again, God was looking out for me in my stupidity, and nothing happened to me. I immediately realized how bad the situation could have been, and decided drinking was not for me.
Both of these events could have ended tragically. Thankfully, God looks out for us even when we do not. I chose to do both of these events, and many others, because I wanted to prove to others that I could do anything. I wanted to be just as good or better than everyone else. I was full of pride, and wanted to appear self-confident. When in fact, all I proved was that I was foolish.
Now, after many hard lessons, I try to seek God's guidance before I jump. I remember to do this with the big things, but God also wants us to seek Him with the small things. We should spend our day in constant communication with Him. (1 Thes. 5:17) Then, when we are faced with a challenge, we will know if we should accept or walk away.
Consider and understand, you stupid ones among the people!
And you [self-confident] fools, when will you become wise? Psalm 94:8 (AMP)