When I first started using the pool at Carilion Wellness Botetourt, I went down and up the steps like a “normal” person. As my dystonia progressed, I noticed that I needed to climb up and down the ladder (I couldn’t do steps easily, but I could do the ladder – go figure). But, as my dystonia increased more, I noticed that I was very unstable going up and down the ladder; it was time to start using the lift chair to get in and out of the pool.
The lift chair was old and outdated and in desperate need of replacement. The aquatics manager had been asking management for a new chair long before I started using it. As I used it, the chair became more and more of a problem: Some days it wouldn’t work at all and other days it would get off track. Finally, the chair was finished, but management still wouldn’t purchase a new one. I got management to buy a new chair – yeah, I did. You see, the manager was in the aquatics area when I was getting out of the pool via the lift chair, and I got stuck. He and the lifeguard came to help me, and as the manager helped me, the chair moved wildly and my elbow hit him squarely in the head and almost knocked him over. He knew the time had come for a new chair.
The new chair is absolutely fabulous. It’s battery operated rather than water operated like the old one; no longer does a lifeguard need to come and turn on the water in order for me to get out. The old chair would disrupt other swimmers if I were getting in or out; the new chair does not take up nearly as much room and causes little, if any, disruption to others. It may seem silly, but I really love having a new lift chair at the pool.
The new chair was installed about a month ago, and Sunday I noticed something peculiar – the new chair, a month old, already had three or four small rust spots on it. Yep, the craftsmanship is so poor that only a month in a humid environment and the chair is already starting to rust. The chair, you see, is acclimating to its environment; the chair is allowing its environment to influence it and to change it.
I fear that too often we Christians allow the same thing to happen. We are changed, not by the gospel, but by the environment around us. We don’t keep our garments white, but we allow little rust spots to take hold because we’re influenced by the world.
Being influenced by the world is not a new problem for Christians, but the New Testament writers had to combat this issue. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16). “ As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:14-16).
Don’t allow the world to influence you. Remember to whom you belong, and honor Him.
Tomorrow, I’ll offer suggestions for keeping the world from influencing us. Until then, be blessed!
PS: I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone at Carilion Wellness nor in the manufacturer of the new chair; I’m simply seeking to make some biblical application from some observations.