by Tim Hall
Pleasure seekers may receive more than they bargained for.
Let’s get one thing straight: Kevin Kearney is an experienced kite surfer. For those not familiar with the sport, a kite surfer stands on a small surfboard while harnessed to a sail. When the wind catches the sail, the surfer is pulled along the surface of the water at thrilling speeds. According to Wikipedia.com, the number of kite surfers has grown to about 200,000.
Kevin Kearney must have been looking for the ultimate thrill when he hitched up his equipment in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this past Monday. He had heard Tropical Storm Fay was nearby. He knew the wind speed was more than what he normally dealt with, but he had safety releases that would unleash him from the gear if the winds proved to be too strong.
Someone caught the attempt on video and it has been shown around the world. Kevin was catapulted by Fay into the sands of the beach, then lifted again and slammed into the side of a building. It happened so quickly that he didn’t have time to release himself. He remembers nothing of the ordeal. Doctors say that he’s lucky to be alive.
Kearney’s episode with Fay seems a perfect illustration of Isaiah’s description of sin. See if you don’t agree: “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6, NKJV).
Isaiah used images to make his point, and two stand out. One is the idea of a faded leaf. The site is common in autumn when dried leaves fall to the ground. People, Isaiah said, are like that leaf. The second image is that of the wind, and you know what happens when a gust of wind sweeps across a dried leaf. The leaf may protest, but what good will it do? It is at the mercy of a force stronger than itself. The wind, according to Isaiah, represents sin.
In seeking pleasure, I spot an activity that looks appealing. Yes, I know that God has labeled the activity as sin, but I can handle it. Just a little taste and then I’ll walk away. But instead of quenching my desire, the taste enhances it. Soon I’m completely caught up in that sin. Like wind toying with a dried leaf, I must now suffer the consequences of my choice. How much better it would have been to listen to the Lord!
If you’re thinking about kite surfing, find a place where tropical storms and hurricanes aren’t. And if you don’t want to be whisked away to unknown, dangerous territory, steer clear of sin.
“The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the unfaithful will be caught by their lust” (Proverbs 11:6).