Growing up is hard to do

The following is an excerpt from the book, Real Life Moments, by J. Mark Fox.

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)

My buddies and I rode along on the cable car that traversed Six Flags, laughing it up and having a good time. Then we came up with a brilliant idea, which I immediately agreed to carry out. I looked below, scanning the crowd. I selected a target, placed the ammunition in my hand, and released the wad of well-chewed, bright pink bubble-gum, allowing for our speed, wind shear, humidity, and the SPF factor of the sunscreen I was wearing. Actually, I just tossed the gum at somebody, not believing in a million years I would hit the bull’s-eye. The gum fell 30 or 40 feet and landed in the very center of the hairdo I was aiming at. I turned to my teenage friends with a stunned look, and we gave each other five and laughed as the poor victim tried to pick the sticky mess out of her hair. 

I wish I could say that the story above happened to someone else, but alas, I cannot. This is another adventure in the never-ending saga of “Stupid Things Mark Did While Trying Not To Grow Up.” In this particular case, the cost was painful and embarrassing. 

They were waiting for me when the cable car reached its destination. Two people with nice smiles and Six Flags polo shirts asked me to come with them. I had made two fatal errors in this whole thing. The first was to do it at all. I mean, what in the world was I thinking? I had been in the park every bit of an hour. I was there with my church group to have fun and to fellowship, and, as our youth director had reminded us, “to be a good witness.” As I reflected on this while we walked toward the office, I just had this sinking feeling that my “witnessing technique” left a lot to be desired. 

The other fatal flaw, which I realized as soon as the discussion started in the office, was that I was wearing a bright orange t-shirt. Apparently as soon as the gum left my hand and winged its way toward its intended target, trained professionals saw the falling object, followed the line of the trajectory back up to the cable car where I, Wonder Boy, sat with my right arm still dangling. They had me dead to rights. 

If I had been thinking clearly, I might have taken these employees to the exact spot where they saw me from the ground, and proven that, given the angle of the sun as it was rising in the eastern sky, there was no way the accusers, who were facing east at the time could have seen me well enough to have identified me. 

Then again, they probably had seen that same episode of “Andy Griffith.” My ploy might not have worked. 

Instead, I hung my head and confessed, feeling really sorry that I had gotten caught, and just a little sorry that I had done something wrong. The next thing I remember is the park employees escorting me to the entrance of the theme park, asking me to “make sure and have a nice day … somewhere else.” I deserved it. 

The Bible says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” I felt the sting of the Lord’s rod that day, and found out once again that growing up is hard to do. But no matter the cost, it’s worth it.

Prayer: “Lord, help me to stand alone when those around me want to do what is evil.”

Action: Talk with your children about the dangers of peer pressure. Read the story of Daniel and his friends who refused to eat from the King’s table (Daniel 1)

Take me back to


About C4FIC

The Council for Family-Integrated Churches exists to promote reverence for the gospel in order to reform the church and restore the home as an embassy of the kingdom of God.
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