There are times when you can see it coming. The situation is screaming out at you or you know you are entering or are already on dangerous territory. Evil lurks at every corner. Danger is as common as air. The potential for self-destruction is tangible.
Most of the time, I walk right in. I am completely, absolutely, totally, and you fill in the word confident that I can handle the situation. I can be so wrong.
Retelling old disasters, or the intense colors of the pond I am in, does little to help make the point. My reaction when others do this to me is that I would have known better, could have read the signs and avoided the pitfalls, or my pond is messier and dirtier than your pond. In other words, the warnings do not apply!
The marker says it all. “Countless victims come under her [evil’s] spell; she’s the death of many a poor man.” (Proverbs 7.26)
The normal process is for me to listen, ignore, proceed, fail, and then rationalize why my failure was different from the person before. Each time the pond is far bigger than I understood given my bias during the warning signs. Every time the god of self rears an ugly head and takes me out at the knees. Temptations are constant and failure is a norm. Rationalizations after the fact do not change the failure; it only begins the process of building a bias to ignore the warnings at the next pond encounter.
God offers you and I an alternative. The process repeated failures continues unless my heart changes from the inside out. I know I cannot do this. I also know with confidence that God can as I ask and participate patiently with him in the process. The delays are all on my side; I seem to be a very slow learner!
Right now, I can see ponds all around me. The huge, dark monsters are just begging me to attempt the crossing. God is my only solution! It can all begin with a decision, now.