For those of you who may get bored by the doldrums of the winter months and are constantly looking for an activity that looks fun, adventurous, and extreme, may I suggest you investigate the sport of Zorbing! For those of you who do not know what zorbing is, let me try to explain the rudimentary rules. First of all, zorbing involves getting inside a large plastic air inflated ball that can hold one or two full grown men. Next, the ball is rolled down a hill or the person inside the ball moves it like a hamster by walking or running inside it. Since the ball is made of a very durable and safe plastic, the ball can withstand great outside pressure and will not pop or lose the air cushion of protection. People use these Zorb Balls to run races, walk on water, fall down ski hills, or just about any other crazy idea that would seem like a good time.
Recently, two Russian men got inside one of these Zorb Balls and decided to go down a ski slop. They were told that the ball was safe and that it would not roll off course. They were also told that everything was going to be ok - not to worry, just enjoy the ride! They were also told that there was a man at the bottom of the hill who would stop the ball once it reached the bottom of the hill. Well once the "ride" began, there was no way to control the Zorb Ball or the direction it would take. The men also could not get out of the ball once it started moving. Unfortunately for the two men inside the Zorb, it went off course and over a cliff, down a mountain and left one of the men dead and the other one seriously wounded. So much for it being "safe," "won't roll off course," or that "everything was going to be "ok." Watch the following video for the unfortunate real "ride" these two men went on.
I could not help think about people who take other people at their word when it comes to traveling a certain direction in their lives. They are told by these people that everything will be alright and fun, that it is safe - just enjoy the ride and someone will be there to stop you at the bottom. No type of background or character check is done on the men who control the ride or the safety record of the ride. They are believed or trusted on the basis of faith in their word.
Many Christians have made the same foolish decision to "get into the ball" based only on the good faith word of those controlling the ball or the idea that "it looks safe and others have done it." There may be no greater example of foolishness within the church today than believing these two simpleton ideas.
The Bible says in Proverbs 16:25:
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death and wide is the road which leads to destruction!
The Bible says in Matthew 7:13:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
Taking someone at their word without having a solid Biblical foundation for the trust in the first place will always result in the same disaster that the two Russian men experienced. Getting into a supposedly safe-looking environment, rolling off the proper course, moving without any direction or control, trusting that man can stop us and our plummeting while eventually going over the cliff and falling to our death is a risk many Christians not only make but also take to their detriment.
As we progress into 2013, may we be aware of the pitfalls and traps laid out before us this year. May we test everything and hold fast to that which is good and be suspicious of those offering us a "new, exciting, and relevant ride," "safe from danger," and that "everything will be okay"! May we proceed with diligent caution, heeding the advice of Christ to take the narrow path. It may be the slow, boring, and safe path, but it will lead to safety and eternal life, not a tumble downhill and toward death.