Down the lazy river

Ahhh. Drifting.

It sounds romantic and peaceful. Quiet. Slowly gliding down a lazy river. It brings memories of childhood summers or the first boat ride with someone very special.

Unless your memory of drifting induces panic. The vision of a toddler in an inner tube moving steadily out with the tide. The snorkelers who lose track of the shore as they are carried out much further than they had planned. The young campers who get too much sun as the canoe drifts downstream – and they find themselves way past the boundaries of the campground.

Drifting is easy.

Just like the toddler, snorkelers, and campers, it just doesn’t feel like anything is wrong. Not for a long time.

Just like we laugh at the spicy or slightly racist joke because it isn’t really a sin, is it? And it was funny!

Or when she tells her weird, lonely neighbor that she can’t come over for coffee because she is expecting an important delivery. It won’t come today – but she is expecting it.

Or when he justifies the padded expense account because he really did talk "business" at that pricey dinner – he talked about how much he despises his job.

Every single day we face decisions like these. And we can choose to snicker or avoid the needy neighbor or stretch the truth. We can take the easy route and drift ever-so-slightly away from the Father with every choice.

Or we can stay anchored to the truth and the Word. We can walk away before the end of the joke. We can take that cup of coffee and maybe, just maybe, find a fascinating person inside the screwball. We can submit an expense account with a clear conscience - and maybe start looking for a job that's a better fit.

And no matter what it takes to stay anchored, it's worth the effort. We know that Jesus will always be with us (Hebrews 10:23) and that we will reap rewards for making the tough but right choices. (Galatians 6:9).