Trouble in Paradise

By Pastor Rodney Tilley

    A few years ago, my wife and I have vacationed in Hawaii where we spent a week with our sons and daughter-in-law. It was fun being in paradise, but my youngsters almost killed us with their constant activity and back to back energy. Our first day on the island saw us climbing three miles so as to view a mountain waterfall with a beautiful pool of clear, cool water at it’s base. Arriving at this paradise cove, we instantly jumped in, and together with the locals, we frolicked in the water that chilled you to the bone. We were all having the times of our lives, jumping off the cliffs and splashing each other, with screams of laughter as each played under a canopy of jungle vines and wild flowers. This was paradise.

    We barely took time to read the sign that read, “Caution, Swim at Your Own Risk, Possible Contamination with Leptospirosis.” We were in paradise and the water was flowing, so surely you must jest as you explain away the unbridled fun. And who really knows what Leptospirosis is anyway, just another medical term that aims to scare when it is nothing more than the common cold.

    We were here, the time was now, and the sign, well, just another governmental interference, that is until we returned home and read in the medical journal, “a disease in the tropics caused by bacteria that can damage the kidneys and liver, often severely.” Reading further, we soon realized that in our ignorance we had read the sign, but had missed it’s severity.

    The Bible in Matthew 16:3 says we too can miss the sign. It reads, “You can interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”

    “Signs of the times,” a catch phrase for all the soothsayers and prophets of doom, but again, maybe in paradise, we did miss the point. Could it be that instead of joining in, or in false humility going, “against the flow,” or “swimming upstream,” that the times dictate that we get out of the water altogether. Have we read, understood, and then misinterpreted? I hope not.

    So take time today to read your Bible and look around, for maybe there is “Trouble in Paradise,” and we just don’t know it.

For more information on the real “Paradise” please call: Rodney Tilley at 432-207-0015.