“The other day I was talking with a policeman who has a great deal to do with hunting for lost children. Where do you suppose he said they always look first for the little kids that get lost? You could never guess it! They just start out in the direction that the wind is blowing. ‘Well, why do you begin in that direction?’ I asked. He explained that on a windy day that everything from a bouncing ball to a hat or kite would just go with the wind. The child runs after it. Then he forgets which way he came from or which direction he was going. He just goes on with the wind and forgets to go back where he started. Going with the wind is much easier than facing it. Just throwing things about the house is easier than putting them in their place. When there’s work to be done and friends come along who want to play ball or go swimming – well, you know it is just easier to ‘go with the wind’ and drift along, doing just what we want to do first” (Fables For Today, Exum, p. 99).
This story reminds me of a Bible verse: “For this reason, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1). Similar to the idea of drifting because of the wind, the writer is here describing our spiritual lives as if they are in the midst of a stream, a light current leading us from one scene to another. The stream is a fine thing for the one enjoying it – casual, smooth, and gradual.
This verse clearly encourages us, warns us in fact, to fight the current, never giving in to its tug. But this is the tricky deal with sin – sin is exactly like a stream. Realize that a stream is not an exciting ride. Things do not happen instantly, so as to make the drifter aware of his folly. It is only in the last moments, the point at which we can see clear enough that destruction is just around the bend, that we attempt to fight the current. Sadly, this is too late for most people to save themselves! One writer puts it thus, “If it is any one’s purpose to go [into ruin] with the devil and his angels, it is an easy matter for him to do so. No exertion on his part is at all necessary. Like a man that is afloat above the falls of Niagara, he has but to fold his arms, give himself up to the natural current, and very soon he will be beyond the reach of mercy” (New Testament Commentary on Hebrews, Milligan, 76).