Children are weird in a lot of ways. They are full of emotions, ‘vim and vigor’. They do things they often regret or get embarrassed about. I was no different.
It happened in Sherman, Texas, and I was about ten years old, I had just come home from school. It was a sunny day, and I went into the house, and called out, “Mom, I’m home.” No sound of mom or anyone. It was unusual for me to come home and find no one there. We were still living in the days when a family could live on one income, and be happy.
I went into the kitchen as was my custom, to raid the refrigerator, and hopefully find some Twinkies, or a piece of apple pie. No luck… dad got there first. I was disappointed and so I went back in the den and shut the door. Then I found it… a case of beer. You just cannot imagine what went through my mind.
Now, as dad told me later, when we could laugh about it… Sherman, Texas was in a “dry county”. That means simply, NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ALLOWED. Dad of course was the preacher for the Church of Christ and was pretty well known, since he was writing books and doing personal work and visiting the hospital regularly.
I was terrified, and thought that dad gone out and bought this case of beer, and had become an alcoholic. Well, I have to confess I went a little crazy. Being the oldest son, a new Christian, and determined to save dad’s reputation, I took this case of beer, all 24 cans, out on the driveway, and a ice pick, ion very plain view of anyone driving by, and started punching holes in each and every one of those cans. Of course since they were warm, and a bit shook up, these cans didn’t ‘go quietly’. They sent beer spewing several feet into the air. One by one they went off like ‘old faithful’. I was covered in the stuff, and the drive way smelled and everyone who passed by couldn’t believe what this ten year old boy was doing much less the smell that was in the air. It’s not over… then mom and dad came home!!!
What does a boy do? Pray!!! Well, in the end, dad had been teaching a man who was destroying his family with drinking and he had convinced him to give up the beer. Dad was going to get rid of it for him. I guess, my motives were the only thing that saved me that day.
It would have been easy for dad to get angry that day. He could have jumped to a wrong conclusion just as I had already. But he was the adult, he had more wisdom, and patience. Me? Well I was just in the middle of growing up. I had (have) a long way to go in learning the truths of the Master teacher. Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not judge lest you be judged. For in what way you judge, you shall be judged; and by what standard of measure, it shall be measured to you. And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold there is a log in your own eye?” Matt. 7:1-4