Today at church, I stepped outside for a moment to check on some of the older kids who were playing. At one point they began throwing small stones at each other, and I quickly told them to stop. I reminded them it is dangerous to throw rocks, and I also told them that if the younger kids saw them doing it, then they would want to do it too. Of course, they didn't pay any attention to me at first, and soon the younger children started reaching for rocks too. I became very adamant about stopping the rock-throwing, and finally they listened. They put the rocks down and found something else to play. I was just thankful that they stopped before someone got hurt. This is a lesson that we've all learned at one time or another, but it is worth repeating. How many times do we get close to danger on purpose, and even have fun being there? How often do we ignore warnings from others who are only trying to help? Do our actions affect others? Are there people who are watching us or even trying to imitate us? Anyone who plays with fire needs to be aware that things can spiral out of control quickly, and you are not going to be the only one affected by your choice to live dangerously. Think about your decisions, and follow wise counsel before you experience negative consequences!
Last Sunday after church, I had to go in my van to get something...and no one noticed that I was inside the vehicle. All the adults were already outside of the sanctuary and in the church kitchen getting ready to eat. Suddenly one of the youth came out of the sanctuary, closed the door behind him and then locked it from the outside. I was surprised that he did that, until I realized that he had locked another boy inside. The other boy was banging on the door, yelling for someone to let him out. I witnessed all of this (the first boy did let the other one out) and was reminded of another lesson- a simple lesson, yet it applies to all of us. Would this situation with the two boys have happened had they known that I was in the car watching them? I don't think it would have. Do you think the first boy felt bad for how he treated his friend? Probably not too bad- at least not bad enough to say he was sorry. How often do we do the same? We tend to think that as long as no one is watching us, we can do whatever we want. As long as we don't get caught, it doesn't really count. We need to be reminded that Someone is always watching us...and even though by His grace and mercy He is NOT waiting to pounce on us when we mess up, maybe if we remembered that He is there, we would be more careful about what we do and how we treat others.
May we learn these simplest of all lessons from everyday life. Let it be so.