Are  you a skeptic? Perhaps a definition of the word itself will aid you in being able to answer this question correctly for yourself. I found numerous definitions for the word “skeptic” but in my opinion, found the following one to be the most appealing and the most accurate…

 

 Skeptic- A person who is yet undecided as to what is true.

 

        This definition is precise, succinct and yet leaves a glimmer of hope for the skeptic himself doesn’t it?  It tells us that the skeptic is “yet” undecided as to what is true, the implication being that although he presently has not made up his mind on the validity or truth of whatever is in question, he may arrive at a belief at some future point.  

 

        Often when we think of someone being skeptical our thoughts tend to think of religious matters or of a person being an unbeliever in God however the reality is that we can be skeptics of a vast myriad of things. I remember well an incident when I was in my early twenties and was attending a health spa. When I first began working out there, I would go into the sauna following my aerobics class. As I entered the sauna for the very first time , I noticed a tray of small rocks that were near the door. I also noticed a sign above this tray of rocks that had neon orange letters on it that said  DO NOT THROW WATER ON THE ROCKS. That first day in the sauna I didn’t really think much about the rocks or the sign. I simply read the sign, thought about it for a second or two, dismissed the thought and focused on how much my body hurt from that day’s work out. The second day and the few days following I also do not remember giving much thought to the sign. The second week that I began going into the sauna however, I began to just stare at that sign as I sat on the bench  and my thoughts began to wonder why the sign was there. Curious thoughts began to flood my strange brain...thoughts like “Why would water be a problem?”, “If it would be dangerous to throw some water on the rocks, surely the spa would have built a barrier or a safeguard to prevent patrons from doing so”. The third week that I was in the sauna, I asked some friends who were sitting in there with me if any of them knew why water thrown on the rocks would be dangerous. None of us were scientists or geologists, with an abundance of  knowledge of such things; we were basically a bunch of moms of tots who were in the spa nursery for two hours each morning because it was our ticket to sanity as most of our husbands were in the military and on a six month deployment. All of my fellow mom friends just shrugged their shoulders and shook their heads “no” as to why the warning was there. One of my closest friends who knew me well just stared at me and simply said “Pam, don’t do it”. She knew that the sign was starting to get to me. I mean, if there is a warning, shouldn’t there also be an explanation as to why? Did we not need to understand what the result would be if water was dumped on the rocks? Why were the rocks even in there? Did every sauna have rocks? If so, were those rocks in those saunas also accompanied by a warning sign?  Folks, I was a skeptic…I was not convinced in my mind that it would be a dangerous thing to not obey this sign.  I think you know what comes next in this story. Yes, the following week on that Monday, I walked in, looked at that tray of rocks, went around to the sinks , found a container, filled it with water and walked into that sauna and doused those rocks with about a gallon of water. Two of my fellow mom friends immediately stood up and walked out of the sauna while one of them stayed in there with me. For the first minute, nothing happened and I looked at her with a smug smile that basically said “See, all is well.”  Right about that time, she and I began to hear something , which was very similar to a hissing sound. This hissing was almost identical to the sound of water hitting a scalding frying pan…sort of a wet, sizzling hiss and my friend and I looked at one another. The sound was most definitely coming from the rocks and she and I jumped up to scramble out of the sauna just as the first of many of the rocks exploded. Yes, I said exploded…these rocks began making loud cracking sounds as each one started breaking up and fragmenting in countless different directions, bouncing off the wood panels of the sauna. By this time, we were now out of there with the door closed behind us and we stood frozen as we heard what sounded like a mini-fireworks show taking place inside that sauna on the other side of the closed door.

 

        Needless to say, I learned a great lesson that day and one that has stayed with me for all of these years. I also stopped being a skeptic the very moment that I began to hear that horrible hiss. I no longer was undecided as to the truth of the warning on that bright orange sign. My dad used to say “You can learn by faith or you can learn by experience” and he would always follow up with a wink and a smile and say “Much better to learn by faith.” His words were swirling around that stubborn mind of mine as those rocks were making themselves heard that memorable day.

 

        This is a simple story about a stubborn young person who was skeptical about a warning concerning a pile of rocks. My skepticism resulted in some minor damage of a physical  structure  and some embarrassment that I suffered because of my lack of belief and trust in the truth and validity of that sign. In life however, the risk that folks take in being skeptics has far more permanent and devastating consequences. We have been given a warning however it is not neon orange and does not hang inside of a spa. It is a precious, sacred, best selling book called the Bible. It explains to us why we are here, why Christ came, and what we need to do to live in eternity with Him. It is God’s love letter to us yet it is also a warning. The difference between the Bible and the sauna sign though is that we are told the result of our continued skepticism if we choose to not believe it whereas the sauna warning did not. It clearly tells us that if we trust and accept Christ who came to earth to die for our sins that we will live forever with Him but if we do not and reject him , that we will suffer an eternal punishment separated from God. This is a warning that is mocked and scoffed at in today’s world yet one that is no less true than that simple one that I so foolishly ignored in that sauna many years ago. The risk that I took was significant, but not devastingly permanent. Not so with the risk that you dear reader may be taking with your eternity.

 

        You may be thinking to yourself that what I did that day with the water proves that I am as the saying goes “as dumb as a box of rocks” however that is not accurate just as it is not the case with so many folks today who are skeptics of God. They are not dumb people whatsoever , in fact some of the most accomplished and educated individuals I know do not have faith in the Lord or the Bible. No, not heeding the Bible has nothing to do with a lack of intelligence, it simply is about continuing in one’s skepticism.


        Are you a skeptic? Have you not yet decided what is true? If so please get yourself a Bible, read the gospel of John and come closer to making that all important decision on the truth of this world, of our existence, of the cross and why Jesus, that God/man died on it and rose again. I learned the truth about that sign by experience, but you can learn the truth of God, of life, of your purpose for being here by faith. It will make all the difference. Are you a skeptic? Are you willing to stay one? Is it worth the risk?

 

        You owe it to yourself to ponder these questions and decide. The truth awaits you.