April 13, 2009 ē By Ed Wrather
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: ďThey have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. when shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?Ē - Proverbs 23:29-35 NKJV.
A 32-year-old woman jumped willingly into the polar bear pit at the Berlin Zoo. Not surprisingly, this did not turn out very well for her as one of the bears bit her on her arms, legs, hips and back. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this is that the woman actually survived, although with severe injuries. An adult polar bear can weigh as much as 1500 lbs. (680 kg.) and is a vicious predator. Much credit goes to the zoo employees who reacted immediately to try distract the bears and at the same time pull the woman out of the pit.
We can learn an important lesson from this sad event at the Berlin Zoo. We can learn that if you jump into a pit with polar bears it is not going to end up very well for you, and you may even end up being lunch for the polar bears. It does seem strange that we human beings are capable of such non-rational acts. We seem to have a habit though of jumping into things that will obviously bring much pain into our lives.
If you drink alcohol to excess it is going to cause you problems as the writer of Proverbs says, ďat the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper.Ē If you jump into the pit of methamphetamine use, or cocaine use, or the abuse of any drug you are going to be bitten. If you jump into the pit of having an affair you can expect to be bitten. If you jump into the pit of felonious behavior, whether robbing banks or writing bad checks, you can expect to be bitten.
You can spare yourself a whole lot of pain in life by just refusing to take the jump. Donít jump into the polar bear pit! Donít jump into the alcohol pit! Donít jump into the extra-marital affair pit! Donít jump into an illegal drug use pit! Donít jump into the law breaking pit! Donít jump into the doing anything to make money pit!
The Bible warns against many things, our laws prohibit many things, and our parents tell us not to do other things. Why? Because there are things out there in this world that are just as dangerous as a hungry polar bear. Before you jump into the pit you might want to give it another thought, ask for some advice, wait a few minutes or even better, pray about it. You donít really want to be lunch for a polar bear do you?