There once was a girl named Tori* who lived in the state of NY. Over Christmas that year she had a grand ole’ time but during that vacation something unfortunate happened. Her father got sick. Her mother got sick and then her brother got sick. But Tori didn’t get sick. She denied that it was a possibility. “I never get sick” she prided herself and tried to ignore the slight cough she started to develop. Tori was relieved when she went back to school. “Tennessee may not be warm in January “she said “but it is a lot warmer than home”. However Tori’s cough continued and to her astonishment it got worse. “I don’t understand” she thought each day when she would catch her breath after a good cough. Several weeks after getting back Tori realized how cold it was in her room. It was So Cold. Sitting on her bed which is in front of the window she looked around and noticed how much colder it was at that specific part of her room. Then she saw something. “Aha!” Her window, though closed and locked had a crack all along the front. Putting her hand there she felt the cold air wafting in to the room. “No wonder I am coughing. This is what I am breathing every night as I sleep.” So Tori, being the sensible girl that she is, made haste to cover that window up good and tight. “Ah, now I will get better,” Tori thought.
But she didn’t. In fact she got worse. In time she developed a fever and sniffles to add to her cough. Tori even moved her mattress to the living room and slept there to not infect her roommate. Tori did not understand what was going on.
Now this seems like a sad tale but it illustrates some important points which we as Christians need to be careful of. Tori was sleeping next to the means of her illness. She was oblivious to the fact that she was essentially cuddling up to what was making her sick. How much do we in our own lives subject ourselves to the influences of sinful behaviors without our conscious knowing? If Tori had just been observant she would have noticed the window right in front of her which was letting in that cold air. What do we have in our lives- like a window- which is not in itself- bad but what it can let through that produces evil? Computers- something Tori tends to waste a lot of time on-books, relationships, frivolous things- are they influencing you for the right or for the wrong?
Tori had a weakness when she was coming back to school since she had been exposed to her family’s sickness. This weakness got exploited by the faulty window. So Satan knows our weaknesses and takes advantage of our often oblivious natures. We need to be alert and conscious of what is in our lives and our predispositions. We need to have our attention on examining our hearts that we be ready for the Christ to come every day.
Tori did not immediately get well after she discovered the problem. In fact she got worse. The damage had been done. She had to reap the consequences. So we have to reap the consequences of sin and often times they are much more tragic than a cough. This should cause us to be cautious.
Tori finally had to leave the room of her initial illness. She had to separate herself from the situation so that she didn’t spread the illness. Sometimes we have to make decisions to separate ourselves entirely from influences that cause us to turn our attention from that which is of God. This sometimes may seem trivial as banning yourself from YouTube for a couple weeks like Tori did once. After all, the small if not dealt with often becomes much larger.
What Tori would like you to get from her sad story is that we need to be intentional in our walk with Christ. Whatever takes our attention and affections from Christ should be removed from our lives. We need to call sin by its name and flee from it. Sin is like an illness. It takes advantage of our weak moments and creeps in to our lives unawares. When we see it we need to block it, get rid of it and move away from it.
Ephesians 5: 15-17 reads, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.”
*resemblance to a familiar name is entirely intentional