This afternoon I saw an ad online about 365 things a person should do in Salt Lake before they die. There are a lot of them that I see, and honestly most of them really don’t look like any part of Utah that I have seen. But there was one specifically which caught my attention as it seemed problematic. It was what looked like a person running in a giant hamster ball on water, similar to the one pictured on the right. I had two questions enter my mind, when I saw it. One, is if the ball has holes in it, how do they keep the water out? The second was if there are no holes, how does the person breathe? I thought of these because if water can get in, I can see it filling up very quickly and drowning of the person in it. And if there are no holes, it seems the person would run out of air very quickly, and they would suffocate. I have not taken the time to research it for myself, so maybe there is some clever design to it that I do not know.
I will admit that running around in a giant hamster ball does seem like fun. I am not really sure what I would do in one, but I think it would be fun for at least a little bit. However, even with the fun I think it might be, I really don’t like the idea of, one, being trapped, two, drowning, and three, suffocating. I can leave the scurrying to the hamsters; I can just keep them away from any water. And now, as I look at it more, it seems those giant balls are a perfect analogy for sin in our lives.
Sin, just like the giant hamster ball on water, is something which can trap us and destroy our lives. Satan, the great deceiver is focused on making sinful things seem fun and enticing. But, as we are able to see the larger picture, many times we are able to see why sin is so bad. So it is with the advertisement. A first glance makes it look fun, but a little more in-depth thought helps us see why it would not be fun at all. The commandments are things which God has given us to help us find security, peace, and joy in our lives. They help us find those things which bring freedom and light.
The first step to not drowning inside the giant hamster ball would be to not get in it. It is the same with sin, if we just didn’t do it we would be fine. Every time we sin; there is an inescapable consequence which brings sorrow and captivity in our lives. Unfortunately, as we are human and we are all imperfect we often do fall short and sin. We bring those things upon us which drag us down “to everlasting misery and endless wo.” (Helaman 7: 16). Just as we would rely on the help of another person to escape the giant ball, sin always requires the intervention of another for us to escape. That intervention is what comes through Jesus Christ. I love these verses from Isaiah which talk about what He has done for us;
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53: 3-5)
He suffered and was bruised and was wounded for the mistakes we make. He has taken the consequence of sin upon Him, so that as we repent we can again become clean and free. I know that wickedness is not happiness. I know that the commandments God has given us are not meant to limit, or restrict us, but rather they are meant to be a blessing and a help for us in our lives. And I know that with every sin and difficulty we have, I know we can again find peace and comfort in our lives through Jesus Christ. I know He is there for us as we repent of our sins and come unto Him. Repentance is a wonderful blessing and enabling power in our lives. As each of us takes the time to repent, we can fill the trappings and barriers around us lifted; and we can find greater peace and joy in our lives through Jesus Christ.