|I never go to a concert with out some of these in my pockets.|
When I was in high school, I went to my first rock concert. It was an 80s hair band called Ratt, and they had a big song at the time "Round and Round." It's funny, but they're featured on a Geico commercial right now you've probably seen--the couple in the ad loves their new home, but they have a "Ratt problem." Then it flashes to a scene showing the band Ratt playing "Round and Round" in their kitchen.
That's the first band I ever saw in concert. I didn't know what to expect. I went with a couple friends--Chip was the only one old enough to drive, and of course Jim, too. Anyway, when that opening act came out and started to play, I was overwhelmed. It was so loud! I grew up around farm equipment. I grew up around guns. I grew up blowing up things with fireworks. But never in my life had I ever been exposed to anything that loud. And when the opening act stopped playing, and Ratt came out it was even louder yet! So loud I could feel the floor vibrating under my feet, and the drum beats felt like they were hitting me. It was painful. Too loud to even hear the music.
But I finally got used to it. And we had a great time. It wasn't until we walked outside that I realized how loud it actually was. I couldn't hear my friends talking. I couldn't hear the motors of the cars driving by on the street. My ears were ringing--that lasted a couple days. That wasn't the last concert I went to, but it was the last concert I went to without ear plugs. My friends made fun of me, but I didn't really care. I love music. It is such an important part of my life both then and now, even when I was young and dumb I was smart enough to realize I'd need my hearing well beyond my teenage years so I went to efforts to make sure I protected myself.
Sin is that same way. You are really aware of sin when you're first exposed to it in the beginning. You know it's wrong. You know it is bad for you. You know you should get away from it. You know there is no good that will come from it. But if you don't pay attention to that sin, over time, you get used to it. And once you become acclimated to sin, it doesn't seem nearly as bad as it did in the beginning. You can even begin to accept it. You can get comfortable with it, even enjoy it. You can look around and see other people doing the exact same thing and think to yourself, well, if they aren't worried about it, why should I be? Because you're forgetting the price you'll pay in the long term. When that bill comes due you'll feel nothing but regret.
You've got to protect yourself from it or it will damage you forever--even beyond our mortal lifetimes. You're going to be exposed to it without doubt, but there are ways to protect yourself.
You prepare yourself by putting on your armor.
I apologize to my regular readers for getting this up late--we've been working on a few home improvement projects, and my house has been all torn up this week. It's been chaos around here! But I hope you'll enjoy this week's piece even though it's late . . .
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