Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Trouble With Ninety-Eight Percent

Yesterday I noticed that one of our upstairs windows was closed ALMOST all the way. Like, 98% closed. I promptly shut and locked it, knowing that that tiny open space at the bottom was enough for tiny fingers to get under and push the window up--and possibly fall out. I shudder to think.

And just a few days earlier, I came downstairs in the morning and noticed it seemed a bit chillier than usual. I looked and saw that the back sliding door was open. Not just unlocked--open! Sure, it was closed most of the way. But that 2-percent-open-door could have allowed someone in. In the night. With my children down the hall. Again, I shudder to think!

We're normally so diligent, which is why two of these things happening in a week is a bit unusual. But the Lord brought to my mind the story of Jotham, a 98% kind of guy.

Jotham did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (2 Kings 15:34). Probably would've earned a 98% on his report card. But the one thing he did not do--HE DID NOT REMOVE THE HIGH PLACES (the places where idol worship took place).

Well, okay, so he didn't remove the high places. Take a few points off his score card and move on, right? But for this man who did so much right in the eyes of the Lord, not removing the high places was a grave error. Because his own son, Ahaz, became a man who offered sacrifices and burned incense to false gods AT THE VERY HIGH PLACES HIS OWN FATHER WAS NOT DILIGENT ENOUGH TO TEAR DOWN. And Jotham's failure to do away with those high places led to his son's undoing.

This story in Scripture haunted me. I wondered, what are the ways that my my 98% efforts are failing to protect my family? An open window, an open door--absolutely. The consequences could be devastating. But what about those things that I pass down to them? Am I clearing the path of what threatens to trip them and entangle them? Are we protecting our son's eyes now, that he may look upon woman rightly later? Are we filling our daughter's ears with truth now, that she would abhor lies later?

Or are we leaving something undone--even 2% undone?

No comments:

Post a Comment