Monday, June 4, 2007

Hidden Sins


Isaiah 60 says "I am God. At the right time I'll make it happen."

It was a hot summer night in Lake Waccamaw, not much going on as usual. We could have walked down to "Dupree Landing" or went fishing, but this night we chose to do something that would take our summer away and change us all forever.

There were about ten of us, all in our early teens. We weren’t looking for trouble just some fun on a hot summers night. There were several suggestions thrown out but none seem to satisfy out inner craving to have fun. So we took the last request and decided to go with that. We decided we were going to "egg" the first car that came around the corner on lake shore drive. We first needed the key ingredient and that was eggs. So we raided the pantry at the cottage and got several dozen and headed for the lake.

We had our plan mapped out, "hit the car with all we have and dive into the lake, splitting up and then we would meet back at the cottage later for the laugh. That poor car came around the corner on lake shore drive and it sounded like hail hitting it, I mean we tore that thing up, laughing and running at the same time.
We all hit the lake wide open, the car didn’t stop, you could hear the engine’s four barrel kick in, they were out of there and so were we. As we all went our separate ways, Rick and I found ourselves at an old boat house, we climbed out of the water and made our way back to the cottage. Then little by little the rest of the crew showed up.

We were laughing our heads off, carrying on like only wide teenagers could do. We all retired for the evening and had a peaceful nights sleep. We knew we had done something big and gotten away with it.

The next evening, Jim called a meeting with all of they guys in the cottage, there were about fifteen of us. He suggest that a car was "egged" at the lake last night and wanted to know if any of us had involvement with that terrible act. Of course we all said "NO". He gave us several chances to confess but we all held our ground. Then something crazy happen. He called each of us by name that had been involved with this terrible act, who would do such a thing we all said. As he lined us all up in front of the other guys, we were still denying what we had done. This didn’t seem to sway Jim at all. He had already decided our punishment. He said "meet me at the tool shed tomorrow night and every night after that until I say different".

We all hung our head low and went to bed that night. Knowing that we had to pay the price for that few minutes of fun. We all were in disbelief that we got caught, thinking how did he know. Did some one tell? If so that would have been grounds for "out casting". You never told on anyone or anything!

The next evening we all met at the tool shed, lined up, he was handing out "sling blades" and "chop axes", he pointed towards the rail road tracks and said "start over there and work your way to the east". The tracks went slam to Wilmington I thought to myself. Well, that summer we chopped grass from six o’clock until dark, then ran a mile. Jim was with us the whole way, telling us we had way to much energy. I remember how hot it was and how thirsty we would get. We could see all of the other guys playing on the field, going to the gym or just sitting around. We were in a place that had not bars or fence but was unescapable.

There was a great deal of talk that summer of running away but no one ever did. Our hands were full of blisters, our backs were hurting, we complained to deaf ears. There was a great life lesson being taught to all of us and the ones to come behind us. I think this story has made it to the "book of legends". I can see the boys talking now, "lets egg a car", then silence comes around the circle of guys and one says "you remember the story of those guys back in the day, There are many of these stories in the "book of legends". I had heard most of them from my years at the home.
I heard one of the guys that was with us that night became rich and had those train tracks removed from Lake Waccamaw to Wilmington. I visit the lake from time to time driving right past the place where we worked so hard to learn a lesson that none of us would ever forget. I can still see us out there. While we worked hard for our mistake we walked away that summer with a different view of life. If you do something that you shouldn’t be doing there will be a price to pay. It’s the law of the land, it’s God’s law. You reap what you sow, or better put there is always consequences to your sins.

In the act of doing a bad thing it was fun, but just for the moment. Later we paid the price! How did Jim know? Only he knows and to this day he has not revealed to us who told.

Well, as you can guess, we never even thought about "egging" another car. We learned a great deal about respect, respecting those who knew more than we did. We learned that we did something wrong, discipline was sure to follow, a striping of our pride and bad attitudes. We learned that there are some things in life we will never know, that no matter what you are doing someone knows about it. This is a great picture of God. He is all knowing.
I think the most important message in this story is, when we are in sin, we either deny it or confess it, to deny it means we are to prideful to omit we are wrong, to confess it means we know our wrong and are willing to correct it. Pride will either take control of your life or you can control it, we all have it to some degree. When that is put into check God can do more than you could ever imagine. That my friend is a great picture of Jesus on the cross, who died for your sins and mine!

I have thought for days on how I could end this story just right. There is no right way to end it because it never ended. Most of us involved that night are still alive today and are still living out this story. There were many stories after this one, we just got smarter and wiser......we thought!
George Beasley

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