"Get your feet down, Chloe."
I probably say that 10 times every time we're riding in the van.
Chloe's car seat sits directly behind the front passenger's seat. On the back of the passenger's seat is a handhold. Chloe's learned that if she stretches her legs straight out in front of her, she can put her feet on it.
You may wonder what the big deal is. Well, when Chloe puts her feet on the handhold, it puts pressure on the screws holding it to the seat. Eventually, the screws start to back out. Over time, the handhold becomes more and more loose.
One day, I went out to the van to get something. It was on the floor, in between Chloe's seat and Cole's. I leaned over to pick it up, grabbing the handhold to steady myself. When I put my weight on it, one of the screws slipped out and the handhold came apart from the seat. I nearly fell flat on my face!
I got a screwdriver and screwed the one screw back in and tightened the other. Just like that, the handhold was as good as new.
I thought about Chloe's little feet pressed against that handhold. How her constant interaction with it over several weeks' time slowly made it come loose. As more time passed, her feet caused it to not just come loose, they caused it to come apart.
It made me think about how sin is often the same way. The constant interactions we have with "small sins" (as we call them) don't seem to have much of an effect on us, and we often think they are harmless.
Yet given enough interaction over a long enough period of time, those small sins can cause huge problems. We may not notice the warning signs as our lives get a little "loose" in regard to our relationship with our heavenly father. We don't notice anything's wrong until one day our lives seem to just come apart.
What recourse, then, do we have? We can't fix the problem ourselves; we're the ones who made the problem! The only one who can fix the problem is our heavenly father.
What we must do is repent, confess our sins and ask him to fix the mess we've made.
You know what? Scripture tells us he'll do it (1 John 1:9). It may not be as quick a fix as the handhold was — and you may have some lingering consequences to deal with — but God has the ability to put your life back together again.
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.