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Just On the Edge

Teenagers are envied by older adults for their zeal, energy, and tireless eagerness for adventure. Seniors remember our years of physical stamina, but now they are simply observers of the antics. Anyone who goes with teens on a regular basis on trips to parks, cities, or sites with challenges, very quickly spot those young people who love a good adrenaline rush.  They are the ones that immediately gravitate to some opportunity to demonstrate a bit of foolish valor. Sometimes the feat might be walking the length of a metal hand rail balancing on the top like a tight-rope walker.  It might be seeing how close they can be to oncoming traffic while standing on the curb.

Not often, but occasionally news stories tell of the tragic consequences of a student that walked too close to the edge of a precipice in a national park and plummeted to their death.  Or, the group of youngsters trying to swim across a lake when one of them suddenly went under and did not resurface.  When that happens, every person that hears the report hurts.  As parents, we hurt for the parents that will get that tragic news. We hurt for the young friends of the teenager because it may be their first time to deal with a death of someone they knew.

Sadly, there are more frequent stories of a teen “falling” down from walking too close to the edge of sinful behavior.  The world in which our children and grandchildren are living is filled with many snares that are coming at them from many places that are extremely dangerous.  Our role as adults is to teach them solid truths about the LORD that keep them from harm.  Every Christian parent seeks to instill in their children Godly principles for living a full and abundant life of purpose and focus.

And, at the same time, so much emphasis today is warning children and teens of things that will cause great harm if they become a choice made in a weak moment.  Walking too close to the edge of sin is not courageous.  It is living dangerously close to destruction.  The goal is not to see how close we can walk with sin, but how far we can remove ourselves from it to walk with God.

The story is told about a stage coach company was hiring teamsters to drive its stage coaches through a mountainous area. The local office manager had advertised for the position and people began to apply for the job. As they were interviewed, the boss asked each applicant, “How close can you drive the team to the edge of the cliff as you round the mountain.” The first fellow replied that he was skilled enough that he could drive the stage coach within three feet of the edge of the cliff. The boss thanked him for his time and called in the next applicant. 

In the course of the interview, the boss asked the next man the same question. He replied that he could drive the team and coach within one foot of the edge of the cliff. He likewise was thanked for his time and the next applicant was called in. The boss asked this fellow the same question. He replied, “I would drive the coach as far from the edge of the cliff as I possibly could.” He got the job! This story clearly illustrates the biblical principle of separation. There is great wisdom in steering our kids as far from the edge of the world as possible.  (Copied).