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A Wild Ride
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His body slammed into the beach like a rag doll being thrown into a backyard sandbox. His limp form was still for a split second but then it was quickly picked up again and violently rocketed into the side of a nearby building.

Twenty-eight-year-old Kevin Kearney doesn’t remember much about the accident that millions of people from around the world have watched on video over and over again. It seems that Kevin has a penchant for kite-surfing, a sport where you grab onto a kite-like apparatus and let the wind give you lift into the air. Riding the gusty winds of tropical storm Fay in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida seemed like a good idea to Kevin before everything went terribly wrong.

My first reaction as I watched this young man being whipped about in the strong winds was to say under my breath, “Why didn’t you just let go when you were only a few feet off the ground?” Turns out that Kevin couldn’t let go…he was strapped into a harness! Yes, there were release mechanisms on the harness, but he was moving much too fast to get his hands on them. His only option was to helplessly go on an incredibly wild ride.

Ask Any Addict

Ask any addict who’s trying to straighten their life out, and most of their stories follow the same predictable pattern:

1. It all began with a specific temptation, and they thought that if they indulged it “just this once” it would be well within their control to never do it again.

2. It felt so good the first time around that they indulged the temptation again and again.

3. They became hopelessly addicted to the drug, feeling, or situation that they once believed they had control over, and it took them on a wild ride that they never anticipated.

At first it seems like the things that tempt us are so easy to grab hold of. By all appearances many of these temptations initially seem fun and exciting. However, once we’re harnessed into the addiction, we can become just as powerless as Kevin was at letting go of his kite.

Our best line of defense is to learn from others mistakes, ask questions about where those mistakes might eventually lead us, and ask God to help us make better decisions from the start. It’s much better than being harnessed to an addiction that will take us on a wild ride.

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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