Do you remember the magic you felt as a young teen, thinking about “growing up”–to at least 21?? Years ago I KNEW I would never live until I was 21, it would just be too wonderful. To be on your own, without your folks (or others) telling you what to do, when to get up, when to go to bed,when to go to school, how to act.. and five hundred million other highly original thoughts that can go through the teen mind. You don’t factor in things like a boss, a wife, children–just freedom. But I was wrong. I made it to twenty-one.
More years went by. But I was POSITIVE I’d never make it to the year 2000—that was an eternity away. Good grief, my children (or any I might have) would be grown, I’d be old, sitting in a rocking chair, not able to do anything at all, because I would be sooo ancient! That year came, too. Drat, wrong again.
Recently I knew an apartment room was full of boys who thought like this: boys in their late teens, boys who thought being almost 21 was better than it had ever been. Boys who thought their age somehow gave them immunity from any harm, who could live and defy odds of being the one driving drunk, or getting cancer from smoking, or destroying their brain on drugs—or even playing Russian Roulette. Boys whose parents knew they were “rooming” together, but after all, these boys were friends, whom the parents knew. And friends don’t let friends… play Russian Roulette. The parents were wrong.
These kids were not city slickers, but country boys: raised by dads or granddads or uncles who took them hunting at four, serious shooting by 9, had them in gun safety classes, and taught them the dangers and value of a firearm. They weren’t ignorant of the rules, but they were ignorant of life and death. Christianity was for their folks; they’d take God seriously when they got older. It wasn’t needed right now because–after all–they were young and it was time for fun! And it didn’t occur to them that they had an enemy who is in the world to steal, kill and destroy. Because if he (Satan) can destroy these kids, they can’t turn their lives around and change the world for other kids. They mocked God, because He wasn’t–in their minds–going to step in and stop their good times. He was going to turn His head while they drunk, did some drugs, sex, and played their games, and had their time of rebellion to the rules the parents had had in the home. They were sure God would go ‘tsk, tsk,’ with His tongue, saying “Boys will be boys.” They were wrong.
This group of close friends had a .44 Magnum in the apartment. It was brought there by the boy whose father had bought it for him, who believed his son to be mature enough to own a gun. He believed him to be mature enough to use it for protection, not to play games like four-year olds. That dad was wrong.
“Let’s play Russian Roulette!” Who wanted to be the one who said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea”? No one wanted to be the ‘parent’ in the room. So everyone shouted “Yea!” One, a younger brother to another in the room, handed the gun to his older brother, whom he looked up to. The older took the gun, spun the clip and said, “It’s not going to go off!” He was wrong.
The bullet went through his head. In an instant the friends had a tsunami of emotions: shock, denial, terror, fear, and more. Someone, somewhere, called 911 for the gunshot. The police, the EMT’s, and others arrived. He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was already standing in front of the Judge, the Creator. He had been wrong once too often. God didn’t say “Boys will be boys.”
Why are our children not listening to what we say? Were we gone so much in their youth that our words bounce off their brains, or were they so filled with garbage from being babysat by a television that they lost the ability to reason? I don’t know. But I do know a mom not far away buried her “baby” because he thought he could outwit God. Oh my, was he wrong.
Galatians 6:7: Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.