I was saddened this week to read about a young man getting killed in an accident at a coal mine in my home county back in southern Illinois. It brought back memories for me. When most people think about coal mines, they usually think about West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. I’ve learned that many people don’t realize that southern Illinois has one of the richest coal mining veins in the United States.
I can remember as a young boy going to spend the night at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house and Grandpa coming home from finishing the 2nd shift. He’d wake me up so I could join him for a midnight snack in the kitchen: Pringles and a bottle of cold Mountain Dew.
I also remember in grade school getting news of a classmate’s Dad being killed in the mine. One of my Dad’s best buddies had his face crushed in mine accident. Several surgeries were required to reconstruct his face. One of my best friends spent several weeks in a hospital recuperating after nearly dying in a coal mining accident.
Young man, I urge you, “flee sexual immorality” ( 1 Cor. 6:18) if you love life. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6). Flee the occasions of it, – the company of those who draw you into it, – the places where you might be tempted to it. Read what our Lord said about it in Matthew 5:28. Be like holy Job: “Make a covenant with your eyes” (Job 31:1). Flee talking of it. It is one of the things ought not so much as to be named. You cannot handle tar and not be defiled. Flee the thoughts of it: resist them, mortify them, pray against them, – make any sacrifice rather than give way. Imagination is the hotbed where this sin is too often hatched. Guard your thoughts, and there is little fear about your deeds.