Gilland: Beware of the middle of the road

I have heard countless illustrations in my life. Some I have forgotten, but others burned an image that stayed with me through the years.

One such illustration was the story of two applicants, each vying for an opening with a professional transport company. The first applicant was asked, “When driving up a winding mountainous road, with a cliff just off the right side of the road, how far could you let the tires of the 18-wheeler hang over the edge of the road and still maintain control of the truck?”

The driver thought about it, and then answered confidently, “I could hang half the tread over the cliff and still maintain the truck.”

The second applicant was asked the same question, without the benefit of knowing the first applicant’s response. His answer won him the job, when he said, “I wouldn’t let the truck get anywhere near the edge…I would keep it in the middle of the road…”

There is no doubt that driver No. 2 would be a safer bet for that company. And in this illustration, living in the middle-of-the-road is a good choice.

But this was an illustration about driving. In our lives, living as a middle-of-road believer can be fraught with its own set of danger.

Imagine with me that we are all traveling down that highway of life. To one side is truth, righteousness and living obediently. And to the other side is that land of danger…where sin, evil and disobedience reigns.

Many try to dwell in what they see as the “safe zone”—the middle of the road—where they are close enough to get glimpses of the pleasures offered on that “disobedient” soil without driving fully to that side.

Those people think they are safe, and can handle the proximity, just like applicant No. 1 thought he could hang the tires over the road and still steer clear of the cliff.

The driver that stays in the middle of this road is already in trouble, and for two reasons. The sin and evil on one side of the road is always moving—AWAY from the land of obedience and truth. The Bible teaches in 2 Timothy 3 that “…evil people and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

You see, as we go down the road of life, we will learn that the road between good and evil seems to widen. God’s side is constant, never wavering. But evil just goes from bad to worse.

The second reason that driver is in danger? It is because that road between these two sides widens, the middle strip of that road actually ends up being where the bad side used to start, and now…in the middle, you are much farther away from the good than you used to be.

Let’s not be deceived by the enemy, friends. Play it safe and hug the side of the road that is built on the Rock who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

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