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Your fathers hand gives you safety, balance
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Chloe is fascinated by the steep hill we have in our backyard. She likes nothing more than to walk down it, then back up it, repeating the process several times over. I have to admit it helps in getting her tired out before bedtime, and I often use that to my advantage.

However, Chloe cannot walk down the hill by herself. The hill is much too steep, much too treacherous for one so small. She doesn't know how to distribute her weight - to shift her center of gravity - so she can walk down it without falling forward.

I do. So I have a rule for when she wants to walk the hill. She must hold my hand, and let me walk with her. As we take each careful step, I give her the support and guidance she needs to navigate the slope safely.

One day Chloe decided to challenge my rule. She wanted to walk down the hill, but she wanted to walk next to me without holding my hand.

As we started down the hill she stayed in step with me. After a few steps, though, she'd pulled ahead of me just a little. A few more steps, and the distance between us widened. I also noticed that Chloe was picking up speed.

Chloe noticed this about the same time I did. Realizing she was out of control and unable to stop herself, she cried out and reached for me. I grabbed her arm and brought her to an immediate stop. For the rest of the trip down the hill, she held my hand.

Chloe learned a valuable lesson on the effects of gravity. Daddy learned a valuable lesson on the effects of sin.

Sin is a lot like gravity. Gravity exerts a constant pull on us no matter where we are or what we're doing. So does sin (Romans 7:21). When we allow gravity to have control over us, it will pull us down. So will sin (John 8:34).

The one thing (at least in Chloe's situation) that will counteract the effects of gravity is holding on to her daddy's hand and letting him help her as she walks along. If she does that, I can make sure she isn't pulled down by gravity, that she doesn't stumble and fall.

That's what will counteract the effects of sin in our lives, too. Hold on to your heavenly father's hand and let him help you as you walk along. If you do this, he will make sure that you aren't pulled down by sin, that you don't stumble and fall.

Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville. His column runs every other week in Sunday Life.