Like most lakes in the high plains of the northwest, the water level was very low due to prolonged drought, downstream water demands for irrigation, in-stream flow, and hydroelectric power generation. The estimate of the size of the lake was placed at around 23% of average usable volume while we were there. Boat launching ramps were completely exposed and there was often quite a walk to the water after walking down the ramp.
A National Park Service employee stationed at the north end of the lake warned against driving on the exposed lake bottom on the east side unless you had a four wheel drive.
After stopping on the east side and walking out to the lake to let our kids do some wading, we continued driving on around the lake shore. As we drove past the First Point beach area, we saw an unexpected sight. There was a little red rented sports car from Florida that had come up from the south end and hadn't been warned about driving on the sand.
He might not have known the ramp he drove down on First Point was really a boat launching ramp. He just assumed that what he thought was beach here was just like the beaches at home. They were great for driving. The beach was empty. He had it all to himself. What better spot for zipping along in a sports car. The only trouble was, it wasn't really beach. It was exposed lake bottom.
He went about two or three car lengths and buried the front end of the car in sand down to its frame. We stopped and asked if he needed to call someone, but He didn't want help, and was busy putting rocks under his tires to try to drive out. I helped him find some more rocks, tried pushing, again offered to let him call someone, and finally left. At the town at the end of the lake, we stopped at the gas station and let someone with a tow truck know that there was someone who was currently stuck and where. I assume the young man got out at some point. There was hope. One tire was trying to catch the rocks he had under it, but the other one was spinning.
We have the Bible to direct us as to what is right and wrong, safe and unsafe behavior. We also have Christians such as pastors and Sunday School teachers to help us along. Hopefully we also have Christian parents. But even if we don't have any of those things, we still have the Holy Spirit gently prompting us as to what things we should and shouldn't do.
When we don't listen, sometimes we don't suffer any immediate consequences for our transgressions. Oh, they're recorded against us just the same. Satan makes sure of that. Sometimes things go along just fine for a while before we get mired. And sometimes the consequences show up right away - like that car stuck in the sand.
Lots of times, we keep plowing ahead, because the dark side looks like so much unrestricted fun. We don't notice that we are starting to sink deeper and deeper the farther we go. After all, we just go down a fraction of an inch or so for every few feet we move ahead. But finally, we bottom out and are stuck.
When the time comes to get out, many times we are just like the young man mired in the sand. We don't want to ask for help. We want to do it ourselves. That's the deeply ingrained American Way after all. Well, God is there to forgive our sins and save us. And occasionally, He will also help us get out of a bad situation that we have gotten ourselves into, even though He is under no obligation to do so. But whatever the outcome, we still need to ask Him for his help.
How about you? Are you dabbling on the dark side in some parts of your life? Has it just been getting a little bit darker every day - perhaps so slowly that you don't even notice it? Have you never even tried living on the light side? If you need to get right with God, use this link to find out how to accept God's gift of Salvation. Then turn your life around, repent of your sin, and start walking in God's light. Do it today - before you get buried any deeper!