Having been an operations officer (which included safety oversight) at a scientific laboratory for years, I am always on the alert for possible danger. If the grandkids are running around while holding something in their hands, I check to make sure it isn’t something that could hurt them. If I am with a work party and someone is about to climb a ladder, I make sure the ladder is secure. I am always on the lookout for electrical problems. When I was a pastor in New Mexico, several of my parishioners said, “This is the first time we’ve had a safety officer as a pastor.”
Dangerous situations which are easy to spot should be corrected quickly. However, people need to be trained to recognize and understand inherent dangers. Some years ago I was visiting friends who lived in an old house, and they had many children with three under the age of six. As polite as I could, I advised the father to correct a safety issue: five live electrical outlets in the kitchen and the living room did not have covers. If a curious child poked his finger in the socket, it could be fatal. The father began rationalizing that he trained his children not to touch the outlets and thought that spending two dollars for this situation was unnecessary.
But he DID spend the two dollars when, an hour later, he found his two-year-old about to insert her hand into an open socket to pull out a dead moth. That danger suddenly became obvious to the father. Dangerous situations can pose great challenges simply because they are not recognized. Therefore, training is important.
Here’s a minor event that happened with me. I’ve reserved one pair of shoes for working in the yard, and those shoes are kept outside. When I want to wear the shoes, I do not blithely put them on – I check for ants, spiders, crickets, and small snakes.
When I checked them this time, out flew a big angry hornet. I was glad I checked them; this critter would have redesigned my toes. First Corinthians 12:26 says, “When one member of the body suffers, the whole body suffers with it.” How true.
There are many hidden dangers in life. Terrorists hide explosives in their cars, trucks, and clothing; and it takes highly trained people and animals to detect them. These hidden dangers have killed many thousands of people.
Undetected mechanical problems can become life-threatening issues. An undetected screw on the floor of the cockpit of a military jet caused one to crash, killing both pilots. Leaks in hydraulic systems of cars, trucks, buses, trains, or planes have resulted in fatal crashes. Old, frayed, or improperly installed electrical wiring in walls or in the attic have caused houses to burn down. My sister’s house was a victim.
Unexpected movements underground – earthquakes – have killed millions throughout history. Brown recluses and black widows lurk in dark corners, and copperhead snakes hide in wood piles and in tall grass.
If we foresee or anticipate these dangers, we can “head them off at the pass” so to speak, and mitigate the negative results – at least, to some degree. I am glad to say that mankind has become much better at it.
But there is one danger in life where man has been a dismal failure at detecting. The results include broken families, poor health, disintegrating society, political corruption, suicide, skyrocketing crime, psychological problems, terrorism, and wars. The Bible calls it sin; it’s a result of refusing to privately and publicly honor God.
Rather than returning to the God of our fathers and correcting personal and societal problems, we ignore God and ignore the cause of the problems. We continue hedonistic, ungodly activities, but spend billions of dollars trying to fix the results. That is irrational. We promote programs which defy God while trying to solve the social ills that we assume are causing the resulting problems. We are intolerant of those who publicly stand for truth because we prefer to show tolerance for anti-Christian beliefs and bizarre and immoral behavior. This is, also, irrational because without a Godly/Christian influence, there is no basis or foundation for truth.
If we insist on pleasing those who live contrary to Scripture while denouncing those who desire a healthy, Godly society, we will never recognize the dangers that are currently leading us to destruction.
The remedy? Study the Bible, turn to Christ, and He will give us wisdom for living: both now and throughout eternity.