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BOWLING WITH BUMPERS – Dec. 17th

December 17, 2012

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.” Luke 21:34

Bowling ball

Bowling ball (Photo credit: jonnykeelty)

I took my daughter and her friend bowling yesterday. It was bowling without consequences. They were bowling with bumpers. Bowling bumpers are metal barriers raised in the gutters to keep the bowling ball in the lane. The result was that pins fell on every try.  That is not very realistic given the bowling skills of these two young ladies.The girls made great use of the bumpers as they bowled. Rather than bowling as if the bumpers were not there, they incorporated the bumpers into their game.  The bumpers are supposed to be a safety net. However, they were bouncing the ball between the bumpers and turned their lane into a form of a pin-ball game. They were playing a game but it was not really bowling.

Does God give us bumpers to our spiritual lives? I know some folks who live their lives like one misstep will send them head long into the gutter of destruction. I know other folks who live like there are no gutters and go bouncing down the lane of life without a care or concern for the consequences of their actions – like there are none.

There is no easy answer to this question because I think that it is “yes” and “no”.  The answer depends upon how the question is defined. If we consider that falling into the gutter of life is the loss of one’s salvation, then I believe that God has given us bumpers. I believe in the eternal security of the children of God. However, the manner in which you live reveals whether you are actually participating in the right game. I am concerned for anyone that lives smashed against the bumper or bouncing between the two sides as if they are trying to get out of the lane.

Those who are called by God will desire to go down the center of the lane; periodically we may stray off course but we should not want to be up against the bumper. Those who purposefully seek to get out of the lane should be concerned because I don’t think that they are playing the game that they think they are – I don’t think that they are saved.  Those who love Jesus will desire to keep his commandments – they will desire to be in the center of the lane.  If you don’t – then your love for Christ has to be questioned – if you don’t value Christ as a treasure then you may not really know him personally.

The other way this question is viewed is that God will keep us out of the gutter of bad consequences.  I believe that the answer to this is absolutely “no.”  Falling into the gutter of bad consequences is often how God teaches us some very important lessons. My daughter did not focus on improving her bowling because there were bumpers. There was no need for her to heed the warnings of the gutter because there was no way for her ball to fall into it. My guess is that she and her friend would have focused more on how they threw their balls if there were gutters.

God has given us many warnings to watch ourselves. If it was impossible for us to fall into dissipation or drunkenness or the cares of life or all his other warnings, then why would he tell us to watch ourselves or examine ourselves? I believe that he tell us that because it is possible. We have the opportunity in life to learn the easy way or the hard way – God loves us so he is going to make sure that we learn and grow – how depends on whether we live like there are bumpers or not.

PRAYER: Lord – Forgive me for all the times that I have lived in an indifferent manner to your commandments – as if there were bumpers to protect me from the consequences.  Thank you for sparing me from many of those consequences. Father, thank you for not requiring me to live a perfect life. Thank you for sending your son to live a perfect life for me and to bear the punishment of my sin. Thank you for that treasure.  Help me to value that gift in my heart more than anything.  Renew the amazement of my own salvation.  Give me a desire to follow you with my whole heart.   Amen

8 comments

  1. Excellent once again jd. Thanks so much for the wonderful illustration you have provided here. A reminder of the many warnings in scripture to all of us to examine ourselves and our conduct in the sight of God to see if we’re playing the right “game”.


    • Hey Steve – Thanks for the encouragment
      JD


  2. Great analogy. As with bowling there is a time in the lives of children the bumpers have to be removed. Too often parents keep the bumpers there fat too long.


    • That is very true. We can miss the opportunity of helping our children learn the consequences of their actions by protecting them from everything while they are under our roof.


  3. Great Words brother!

    Praise God for the desire to delight in His commands!


    • Amen! thanks for the encouragment.
      God Bless!
      JD


  4. Excellent…true words…thank you for your courage to speak..it is an oddity and scarce to find in this world.


    • I am so glad it was encouraging. Thanks for the kind words.
      JD



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