Has this ever happened to you? You’re dreaming, and in your dream someone starts to chase you. So you set off running. Only, to your horror, you discover your legs are sluggish. Try as you might to pick up the pace, you find yourself running in slow motion.
Professionals who study our dreams say that this occurs because our mind, though sleeping, functions as though it is wide awake, whereas our bodies go out cold; they are limp and unresponsive.
That’s sort of what sin does in our lives. It makes us sluggish, slow to respond. Like a ball and chain around our ankle, it hinders us from running as fast as we can away from it.
It reminds me of the story of Lot and his wife. According to the Bible, Lot was a man of some importance in his community. Yet, it would seem, little influence. He lived in a society whose sin was so grievous to God that He sent a couple of angels to earth to investigate it.
When these two “strangers” showed up in town, Lot was alarmed for their safety, knowing how depraved his community had become. So, he invited them home. Soon afterward, however, word spread and an angry mob formed outside his door demanding that he send his guests out to them.
As the door shuddered with each thrust of the crowd, the angels told Lot that they had been sent by God to get him and his family out of town before the whole area went down in smoke and flames. But, instead of turning on his heels and running as fast as his feet could take him, Lot hesitated. Despite the dangerous throng outside threatening to break in. Despite angels standing in his midst, urging his family to beat it out of town ASAP, he was sluggish to make a decision. Eventually, the angels had to take Lot and his family by their hands and drag them to safety.
As slow as Lot was to move, his wife was even more so. The angels had warned them all not to look back as they hurried them out to the countryside. But, she looked back anyway. She may have been physically removed, but, emotionally, her heart was still pining for “sin city.” And that cost her...as sin always does.
Like sluggish legs in a dream state, Lot and his family vacillated when they should have run. Intellectually, they knew the behaviors, actions and attitudes of those around them were corrupt, but, they had grown so accustomed to the way things were, they wavered. Lot’s wife eventually succumbed to their influence...to her demise.
But, before we stand in judgment of Lot’s family’s indecisiveness to act, we may want to take an honest look inward.
Imagine yourself being thrust out of your home and homeland with only the clothes you have on your back and a few easily transportable belongings. Think of how many things you would have to leave behind. Think of how much time and money you have invested into sprucing up your place, how many things you’ve accumulated. Nothing sinful about creating a comfy abode, but, if you were forced to say goodbye to Home Sweet Home this instant, it may cause you to hesitate. Perhaps it may even take an act of God to tear you away. We may even be tempted to look back longingly at the things we once had, instead of trusting God that He’s acting for our good.
And we acclimate to our culture in other ways too. Take gossip, for instance. It’s one of those seemingly insignificant sins. Yet, gossip is one of the most common problems in the workplace. At first it may be disconcerting to us...upsetting even. But, after a while, we grow accustomed to all the back-stabbing and one-up-manship. We may even find ourselves entering into the fray now-and-again. Then, before we know it, we’ve “joined the club.” It’s easy to do, easier and a bit more “fun” than turning away and going back to our desk.
In light of the warning from Lot’s life, it may a good for us to do a little soul-searching. Take some time today to sit quietly with the Savior and invite him to mull over the following questions with you. Ask yourself, “Where have I become sluggish in response to sin? What has become a ball-and-chain around my ankle? How have I acclimated to the ways of the world? And what steps must I take to be wholly committed to you, O God?
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.