Teachable Moments

Consequences Of Our Folly


With Christmas on the horizon, my mind has gone back to memories about the family get-togethers, presents, trees, football games and lots and lots of awesome food! But like every good thing, there are times when bad stuff jumps right in and tries to mess things up. Such was the case on the Christmas when my first cousin/best friend, Robert Miller got his first BB gun. Our meeting place was my grandparents' home which was only 100 yards from our home in the country. Bob and his family had just pulled up when he came barreling out of that Plymouth with his brand new BB gun, anxious to show it off to his cousins.  We happened to be outside standing under the big oak tree that stood in front of our house. As Bob came up to us, he made several mistakes; first the gun was loaded, second his finger was on the trigger and thirdly he was running. That in itself would be dangerous, but add the big oak with the big roots sticking up from the ground and you have a problem. And sure enough he tripped on the roots, fell in front of me, and shot me right in the face. Thankfully the BB hit me in the chin and not an eye, but that chin sure let me know it was not happy. A trip to the poor doctor in the next town on Christmas day was not at all in our plans neither his, I'm sure. That BB is still in my chin, over 50 years later. The teachable moment could be not to run with a loaded gun, but it is not. The teachable moment was the fact that his dad, my Uncle Nathan, took the BB gun from him and placed it on top of the refrigerator at his house, to be seen but never handled. Every time we would go in to get water, or raid the fridge that BB gun was a reminder... never carry a loaded gun with your finger on the trigger. How does this translate into a spiritual teaching? There are times in our lives when we will make a terrible mistake in our lives, and we will pay for it because He loves us and disciplines us, just like Uncle Nathan loved his son. Though God does forgive and "remember no more" the consequences of our folly will always be a reminder, just like that BB gun in sight and out of reach. "Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, as do stripes the inner depths of the heart." Prov 20:30 
PS Bob finally got his BB gun back and we had many wonderful trips to the woods where he and I got to enjoy that gift from his father. So too is our Father, He will not withhold forever.