I was recently on a flight, and once I got situated I noticed the man sitting next to me was reading his Bible. He was mainly reading in the books of Matthew and John, but also turned over to the book of Acts. I didn't bother him. I figured he was doing a personal study of some sort. He was diligent about reading the notes at the bottom of each page. After a while he closed the Bible and took a nap. I supposed he could have been praying, but I think he was napping.
In the row ahead of us, and the seat directly in front of my Bible-reading guy was another man who appeared to be on a business trip. As people were boarding I happened to notice that he was on his phone checking some stuff on the internet. Some of what he was checking out was pornography. When the plane was about to take off, he put his phone away. He stared out the window for a little while and then also took a nap. I didn't bother this man either.
During the flight I thought about these men, separated only by about 12 inches, but living lives that were worlds apart. In fact, even though they were both on the same plane, going to the same city, each was making a choice on that day that would take them in two different directions and would land them in different locations.
I don't know what the man on the phone does for a living. The man on the Bible works for the FAA. I would imagine if the man next to me told the man on his phone that the plane we were on had a very good chance of crashing, he would have grabbed his bags and exited the plane. But if the man who was in his Bible told the man trapped by pornography that his viewing choices would cause his life to crash, I doubt he would be taken seriously. And yet... that is the only real truth out there. We don't know what will happen to a certain plane. We do know what happens when we substitute lust for love.
The first Psalm speaks to the two ways...
How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.
He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
The wicked are not like this; instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not survive the judgment, and sinners will not be in the community of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin. (Psalm 1)
The apostle Paul talked about how to manage our thought life in a letter to some Christians...
"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things." (Philippians 4:8)
Both of these men consumed something that morning to feed a taste. Both of them had expectations while taking in their prospective 'meals'. We know that pornography, like any bad choice, does not satisfy, or meet expectations. The Bible is the truth of God, and while it sometimes challenges us, it always rings true. It actually exceeds expectations because it is a living and loving application of God's word.
I prayed for both of these men as they slept. For the man in his Bible, I asked God to come alive in his study so that his faith would be strengthened and his walk would be victorious. For the man who had been viewing the pornography, I asked that God would speak softly and convincingly into his heart and once again offer him a pure love.
We are all on the same plane today. It is the plane of life, if you will. But many are going in different directions even though we are sitting right next to each other. What will you consume today? That will in many ways determine the direction you go.