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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Things creep in

I recently wrote about a lightning strike at my neighbor’s house which had some effects at our house. What I didn’t know immediately was that my garage door opener was affected by that strike, too. The control board got fried and I had to buy a new garage door opener.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

Buying one and installing one are two different things. I needed help installing it.

I called my brother and he agreed to come and help me. Basically, that means he did most of the work. I handed him tools and the parts so he could put it together and install it. We had fun doing the work and spending time together.

He brought his chainsaw with him, and after we got the garage door installed, we decided to do some cutting. When the big tree fell a while back, it damaged some other trees that needed to come down. So he helped cut them down and get them into manageable pieces for me.

While he was here, he pointed out that many little trees had grown up along the property line. I really hadn’t noticed because I see them every day and hadn’t picked up on the changes. There were some trees that were touching my house and others were leaning towards my house.

He pointed out that the leaning trees would never really grow right because they would always be reaching for the sun and leaning towards my house. In fact, he said that if we got a good wind storm they might fall onto my house. We took a few of those trees down before he left but he warned me that more trees needed to come down to protect my home.

I walked along the property line the other day and took note of how many trees have been growing my way. The grass has always been thin on the side of my house, but I now have no grass over there because of the trees. The more I look, the more I realize that the woods have been creeping over on me.

When I stop and think about it, I never realized how the woods were creeping over into my yard. It is a slow process and if you aren’t watching, they will take over. I remember cleaning up one area several years ago so I could see into the woods really nicely. I looked over there the other day and I can’t see into the woods at all.

When did that happen?

All this got me to thinking about how things can creep into our lives. I am at the age where I can add a few pounds of weight easily without even noticing.

Bad habits can start as something small and insignificant and before you know it they have taken over. A sin can slip under the radar and it might be so insignificant that we even forget to repent for it. But that sin is like a seed. Once it gets planted in our mind, attitudes and actions, then it can take over. That simple, unnoticeable sin can turn into a habit.

Negative attitudes and thoughts can easily slip into our minds. If we don’t deal with them quickly, they will take root and become more difficult to fix. Bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness can grow into huge trees if they aren’t dealt with when the problem is small. The Bible tells us to bring all our struggles and sins to Jesus quickly because He knows how to handle them. He wants to help us eliminate the saplings before they become trees.

I have to admit I can become lazy and not notice an attitude or thought as it slips in. I have even excused things that I needed to repent from. The Bible talks about those sins that so easily entangle. We all know our own areas of weakness. Jesus promises that if we give our weaknesses to Him, He will grow strong in those areas.

Do you know what that tells me? I can’t do it alone. I need to call for help and let the Master, who knows what He is doing, fix it.

I want to encourage you to look around in your life.

Do you see areas where some little saplings have grown to become trees?

I know a great tree man. He is a carpenter, but He is a Master at cleaning up messes. He doesn’t care how it got there; He just wants to help you clean it up. He loves you and He loves doing the work. Life is cleaner, freer and better when we let the Master do His job.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.