How Close to the Edge Can I Go?

How close can you drive to the edge?

            There is a story of a county superintendent of education who had three applicants who wanted to fill a single vacancy for school bus driver. According to the story, he devised a test for selecting the most qualified driver.

            The superintendent took the first applicant to a sharp curve on a steep grade along the road and asked, “How close can you drive a bus filled with children to the edge of the road on this curve and still be safe?” The first applicant looked and replied, “I believe that I can go within a foot and still be safe.”

            The second applicant was asked the same question. He checked the curve and told the superintendent, “I believe that I can drive within six inches of the edge and not go over the cliff.

            When the superintendent took the third driver to the same curve and asked his question, the applicant immediately responded, “Do you think I’m crazy? I’m not interested in seeing how close I can get to the edge with the bus. I’d be trying to see how far I could keep away from the precipice with the bus.”

            Can you guess which applicant got the job?  The lesson for us is this: We are often like the applicant who thought in terms of how close they could get to the edge without going over. That’s the way we often live our lives. Instead of taking the utmost care to be certain that we are doing what is right, we engage in questionable behavior. It may be worldly amusement, careless habits, or the way we dress. There are so many ways that we can conform to the patterns of this world instead of being transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2) 

            As we follow Jesus and live our lives for Him, we must throw off everything that holds us back, including all kinds of sin, and continue to run the race with perseverance. (Hebrews 12:1) In fact, we need to keep away from anything that even has the appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

            As Peter says: Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:11-12, NIV)