Most of the time, we would pack up to come home from a camping trip with the tent still wet from the morning’s dew. That meant we had to set it up out in the sunny field once we got home to let it dry out. We never bothered to stake it since it usually dried in under a half hour. As it dried, one of us crawled inside with the portable vacuum to get all the dirt out as well. My younger son Nathan was enjoying that chore once while I hung out sleeping bags and tarps to dry and air out. A little breeze came up and suddenly I heard this little voice saying, “What’s going on? Hey! HELP!!!” I looked up in time to see that self-contained, flat bottomed dome, rolling on its sides across the field in the wind, with my little boy evidently tumbling around inside—and from the sounds of it, not nearly as gracefully as a hamster on its wheel.
Nathan blossomed late. At that time he was about 11, still under 100 pounds, and only about 4 and a half feet tall. Add to that the fact that the tent was not grounded with stakes, and you had someone ready to be easily tossed around in the wind.
I cannot think of any better reminder to ground myself in the doctrine of Christ. Too many people out there are willing to expound in beautiful moving words that sound good but which could easily upset my faith. Too many times I rely on what I have always known, or on some brother I respect to tell me what to believe. I sit in Bible classes sometimes and shake my head. Whenever a certain topic comes up, I can almost always tell you who will say what, because few have bothered to look at things from a new perspective, to dig a little deeper, to ask questions, to even think it is all right to ask a question without being looked at skeptically. Too many times I have visited women’s classes in other places and looked at the cotton candy lesson being studied, wondering if these empty calories are doing anyone’s soul any good at all. We call them classes because we are supposed to study deeply and learn new things, not splash around in the shallow end of the pool with the children, trying not to get our hair wet.
The only way to avoid confusion is to ask questions; the only way to grow—and we should all be growing, no matter how long we have been Christians--is to search the scriptures diligently; the only way to build a solid foundation is to learn how to study on my own; the only way to remain steadfast is to gain enough spiritual weight to stake down my tabernacle with stakes I have discovered myself, and hammered deeply into the ground.
Till we all attain unto the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full-grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error, but speaking truth in love, may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ. Eph 4:13-15.