On a cold day one winter, Joe was sliding on a frozen pond when the ice broke. Luckily he was able to get out of the water and crawl to safey. He went home in his wet clothes almost frozen. His aunt asked him why he was sliding on the ice. "Because all the other boys did," he answered. She gave him dry clothes and something warm to drink. Then she told him a story.
When I was a little girl, Joe, my father had a great flock of sheep. One day a big ram jumped through a gap in the fence. He was followed by the other sheep. When the ram tumbled into the bottom of an old well where father used to throw rubbish, the next sheep never stopped to see what had become of him. He jumped in right after the ram, and so did the next one and the next. The sheep kept jumping into the well until it was full. Then father pulled them out as best he could. The sheep at the bottom of the well were almost smothered to death.
"What silly sheep!" exclaimed Joe. Then suddenly a look of discernment came over his face, and he smiled at his aunt. He had gotten the point of the story.
If we simply follow others without watching where we are going, we may land in trouble. The book of Psalms opens with some timeless wisdom on this subject (Ps. 1:1-3; cf. Prov. 1:15-16; 4:14).
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.