Friday, December 12, 2014

Good, Clean Fun

"Let's drive to Blacksburg and find a club to go to!"

We both thought it was a good idea at the time. Let's sneak out and drive our unreliable car 45 minutes away without telling anyone where we are going so we can party all night.

I've taken bad advice before, but this one proves that thinking through my decisions was not my forte. My friend and I decided to go together, so I couldn't blame her and she couldn't blame me, but neither of us was thinking about the possible dangers. We had a laser-focus on one thing: fun.

We knew that as 19-year-old kids, we couldn't get into any of the bars around town,  but we could get into a bar in the neighboring college town, and we wouldn't even need fake IDs to do it. So we hopped in her car and sped off, following down the path of what we hoped would be good (although maybe not clean) fun.

Lots of things could have happened that night, and it's only by God's grace that we didn't get in more trouble than we did. Neither of us expected to walk out of the bar after the last call at 2AM and find an empty parking lot.


As in, no car.

We looked at each other in panic. WHERE IS THE CAR?!!???!

Apparently the Blacksburg PD expects you to follow the signs that say NO PARKING, and when you don't, they tow your car away to an undisclosed location.

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Then we really panicked. Remember the little orphan in Annie, when they break out of Miss Hannigan's to go find Daddy Warbucks, and she keeps repeating ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness? Yeah, our mouths weren't that clean, but the meaning was the same. We had spent all our cash on cover charges, it was 2AM, and we had snuck out of the house. No one even knew we were even in Blacksburg. (Read: WE WERE SCREWED.)

Happy is the person who doesn't take bad advice, 
walk down the path like everybody else, 
or join in the group of doubters and cynics.
{psalm 1:1, in my own words}

There is a progression, Priscilla Shirer points out in her study Seed. We had taken advice, walked down the path, and joined the group. All in.

Avoid the first, and you'll probably avoid the last, too.

The person who takes delight in God's Word and meditates on it daily
 becomes like a tree planted beside streams of water. 
His fruit shows and his leaf does not wither; he prospers in life. 
{psalm 1: 2-3, in my own words}

I've learned over the years, and only because God has showed me His mercy and His grace time and time again, that when a person takes advice from God's word instead of from the world at large, searching for instruction and guidance, meditating on it and allowing His Word to influence thoughts, actions and words, then this allows us to become like a well-watered, well-fed tree planted beside a stream, rooted in the one thing that can give life and hope: His Word. And in this place, the results of our time spent in His word start to show as we become people who have God thoughts, which lead to God actions. The leaves of our tree don't wither, and we do not become faint of heart. We become more discerning, more knowledgeable, and less likely to take bad advice--even if the bad advice is coming from our own head.

We both got in trouble that night--even after we called a friend and woke him up, asked him to come to an ATM, borrowed enough cash from him to pay for the car, called her dad and woke him up so he wouldn't wake up and find us missing, and drove home with a lot of 7-11 coffee in our system and a little less pep in our step. It wasn't the last time I made similar mistakes, either. I guess it just takes me falling flat on my face over and over again, and being picked up every single time to realize that I need to open my eyes and see The One who is pulling me up.

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Blinding ignorance does mislead us. 
O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!
{leonardo da vinci}

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