Monday, February 05, 2007

The Prodigal

A good friend of mine was telling me about a pastor friend of his in another state named Bob (not his real name). Bob's 14 year old daughter (Karen) who is a good kid decided to run away with a boy friend (not her boyfriend). They were upset over something happening at their school.

Each of them took $100 in cash and they took a pickup truck that belonged to one of their parents. It didn't take them long to realize that gas is expensive and they quickly ran out of money.

Not wanting to stoop to asking for help from their parents, they decided to take matters into their own hands. Karen's friend had brought a gun with him so they decided to use it to hold up a convenience store.

To make a long story short, they got caught. Even though they are both 14 years old, the local authorities want to try them as adults. It seems there is a good chance of this happening. If convicted as adults, they each face 20 years in prison.

The best case scenario is that they are tried as juveniles. If convicted as a juvenile they face 3 years in a juvenile detention facility. In either case, their lives will be forever changed due to a 24-hour window of poor judgment.

Obviously my friend's friend is distraught and spending lots of time on his knees.

Had Karen simply called her parents for help, all of this could have been avoided. What stopped her? Fear of punishment? Pride? Not wanting to feel dependent on someone else? I am sure her parents were waiting like the father of the prodigal son in Luke 15 to welcome her back.

Haven't we all made mistakes? When we do again, let's not compound them by making more poor choices. Know that we can go to our Father and He will be waiting with open arms to welcome us back.

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