Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Yellow Stuff

Such a pretty shade of yellow -- sort of buttery and bright.  We were in Vancouver, Canada, and these huge piles of yellow stuff sat across the river from us glowing in the sunlight, beckoning a closer inspection.  We didn't venture any closer, however, because these were piles of stinky sulfur waiting to be shipped to other countries to be used for such things as fertilizer, matches, insecticide and gunpowder.

As with the Lionfish in the previous post, looks can be deceiving and what appears beautiful and appealing can really be dangerous and deadly.  Unlike the Lionfish, however, sulfur can actually be good for you -- in small quantities.  While sulfur is an essential element for all life, if I'd decided to go across the river and play in that big, soft sulfur pile "sandbox," it would have been very harmful to my health and well-being.

Many things in life are beneficial and even essential if used in the right balance.  For instance, exercise.  We need exercise for optimum health, but the Bible warns us that we can overdo, "For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things" 1 Timothy 4:8.  The same goes for eating -- an obvious necessity that Proverbs warns should be kept in balance.  The first verse certainly tells it like it is:  "Have you found honey?  Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit" 25:16.  Proverbs 23:21 further warns:  "Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty."  They will also probably be overweight!

Then there are our belongings.  We need food, clothing and a comfortable place to live.  That's about all most people have in the majority of the world.  Not so in the land of plenty -- our beloved USA. Most of us have so much more than we need it's .... well, let's see what Jesus says about it in Luke 12:

"Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.  Then He spoke a parable to them, 'The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?'  So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, 'Soul you have many goods laid up for many years, take your ease; eat, drink and be merry.'"  But God said to him, 'Fool!  This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'  So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

So - what can we learn from these admonitions against excess?  We need a healthy balance in all things and as Paul said, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" 1 Corinthians 10:31.

If we live by that verse, we won't lose our balance in life -- and we'll have just the right amount of the yellow stuff in our bodies too.

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