My youngest son, Jonathan, was two when I lost him at the clothing store.
The store had circular racks with blouses, skirts, and pants on sale. I paused to browse.
Minutes into shopping, however, I noticed Jonathan was missing. My heart throbbed in my neck. I rushed up and down aisles looking for the cute, brown-headed kid.
Suddenly I saw a rack of clothes spinning wildly He was having a delightful time, playing in the soft fabric.
“Stay with Mommy,’ I tethered him at my side, knowing that danger exists for kids who wander away and get lost.
The apostle John, in his one-chapter epistle, applauded Gaius for walking in the truth, or staying tethered to God.
A kind, humble man, Gaius was faithfully doing his job, helping the new converts grow and remain in the Church. John called Gaius “beloved” and wished for him, above all else, health and prosperity.
John contrasts Gaius, however, to Diotrephes, a man who was prideful, a gossip, a malicious discontent–a man who discouraged people from coming to Christ. Of Diotrephes, John says, “Don’t follow what is evil, but what is good. (3 John 1).
“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love,” Robert Robinson, the author of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, 1758,wrote. His lyrics highlight our inclination to wander away from what we know is right and true. Music for the soul.
Kevin, about four-years-old went missing from our backyard one sunny afternoon. After a frantic search, I found my cute little blond eating warm, coconut cake in Barbara’s cozy kitchen. The slice of cake was barely gone before I was dragging him home.
“Ask Mommy before you go to Barbara’s,” I emphasised, knowing that some kids who wander away never return home.
No wonder we wander and leave the God we love.
There is pleasure in wandering for a season–the soft fabric, the warm cake–the softness of selfishness, the coziness of pride, the power of gossip, the satisfaction of discontentment–and worse. Scripture says that sin, left unchecked, is a slippery slope toward death.
Are you walking in the truth? Then the apostle John sends you this dash of kindness, a blessing.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health–even as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1: 2