Be careful lest you yourself become the goat and carry unseen spiritual burdens into the wilderness. More serious by far than the loss of property or money are the unseen spiritual penalties which accrue like interest on a debt which one day, in the eternal scheme of things, must surely be paid.
I read somewhere of a young couple who settled in the wilderness. While the man cleared the land, his wife tended things about the homestead. Occasionally, the cow would get into the garden, and the husband would complain.
One day, as he left to get supplies, he said in a sarcastic way, “Do you think you’ll be able to keep the cow in while I am gone?” She thought she could; she would try.
That night a terrible storm arose. Frightened by thunder, the cow escaped into the woods. Several days later the husband returned to an empty cabin and an apologetic note: “A storm came up, and the cow got out. I am so sorry, but I think I can find her.”
He searched; neither had survived. The author concluded the incident with these words:
Boys flying kites haul in their white-winged birds;
You can call back your kites, but you can’t call back your words.
“Careful with fire” is good advice, we know;
“Careful with words” is ten times doubly so.
Thoughts unexpressed will often fall back dead.But God Himself can’t kill them, once they are said!
(Will Carleton, The First Settler’s Story).
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