I recently wrote an article about tourists at a National Park who “rescued” a Bison calf, causing its death because the herd rejected it. Since that time, several other stories are making headlines with tourists ignoring rules at National Parks. They want selfies with elk, they dangle over the sides of rock sliding areas, and they get far too close to the Bears. Sadly, many of these stories end very badly.
Colin Scott, a recent college graduate from Portland, Oregon, is no exception. He refused to obey the signs that clearly say to stay on the boardwalk at Yellowstone. But armed with flip-flops and the pride of youth, he ignored those signs and walked 225 yards off the path.
Unfortunately, it was a deadly mistake. Not only are the springs acidic, but they are also scalding hot – over 200 degrees. In fact, the spring was so acidic and so hot that, when the ground gave way and he fell in, his body dissolved and there was nothing left to recover.
The story is a sad one, and the family is in our prayers. But Park Services representative, Morgan Warthin, uses tragedies such as this to try to save lives. She warns that the ground is extremely fragile and there are thermal pools right below the surface. She warns that the hot springs “look beautiful and stunning…inviting, yet the boardwalks are there for a reason…to keep visitors safe.”
Spiritually speaking, I find real similarities. People often stray from God’s path to get a closer look at sin, refusing to heed warning signs.
The Bible consistently reminds us to stay on the path. It is a narrow path that leads to salvation (Matthew 7:14). God’s Word is a light on the path to show the way (Psalm 119:105). We are shown the boundaries that He has given, and we are told not to move the stones (Proverbs 22:28).
So many people today try to make the rules up as they go. They leave the tried and true path to get a closer look at sin. If they would stay on God’s path, unnecessary spiritual death would cease. Safety is only found on the Lord’s path!