Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"I didn't do it."

When I was young I used to envy my friends that were “only children”. For some reason most of them were well off so I figured it was because their parents only had one child. Now that I am older, I realize that wasn’t the case but back then it made sense. The way I saw it, if I were an only child, I would have it all. I know it was selfish but many children are that way when they are little.

I never looked at the situation deep enough though. For instance all of “almost nothing” is still “almost nothing”. Instead of just one slice of pizza, I would have gotten 1/3 of it but knowing Dad, if there had only been one child he would have ordered a small pizza to save money. I also never took into account that along with all the “glory” would come all the bad things. I really don’t think that a single child could have survived in our house. Sometimes there is safety in numbers.

When there are 5 kids in one house it is easy to pass the blame on to someone else. “Only children” don’t have that luxury. It’s nice to have brothers and sisters around to pass the blame to. Now that I am adult with children of my own I know that we were wasting our time because parents usually know who is to blame. Of course my older brother still likes to say “it’s not my fault”. Maybe one day he will grow out of it. He is only 55 you know. :)

This past weekend I visited my daughter and grand kids. Kids say the darndest things as Art Linkletter used to say. I took the oldest boy to the grocery store with me. As we passed the fruit section, he pointed to the apples and told me that “Ann was bad because she picked an apple and gave it to Tom” I said, do you mean Adam and Eve and he said Yea that’s who I meant.

The youngest boy has this habit of trying to pass blame on his older brother when he has done something wrong. The first thing he says is “Clay is a bad boy”. I think he is trying to get everyone to agree with him. Next he states. “I didn’t do it” so as to remove any blame from himself. Now at this point, none of the adults even know what has been done wrong so it is time to go searching to see what is up. Usually it is something simple like water spilled a shoe in the toilet but it is best to check it out.

It’s fun now to look back and reminisce about some of the things I did when I was a child. Like when I swam across the alligator infested “Thompson’s Creek” at night. There was a 12 ft alligator that lived in there and we were forbidden from swimming there in the day time much less at night. There was the time I set the tree on fire in the back yard and Dad (the fire chief) got the call and not only had to respond but explain why his son did such a thing. And there was the time we almost got caught throwing oranges at the “Hell’s Angels” when hundreds of them rode their motorcycles into town. And I wonder why I got punished.

I can hardly imagine being an only child and having to face Dad alone when he was angry. Those whippings weren’t quite so bad when you spread them between all of us kids and over the years of my youth. Can you imagine if you had to do it alone or take all those punishments at one time? The spanking I got when he caught me in the creek was bad enough and all the crying and pleading on the drive home didn’t help one bit. I know now that it was for my own good and I deserved it so kids don’t think you will get away with anything like that.

I know that one day we will all have to face our Father alone and go over all the bad things we did in life. And there will be no one to pin the blame on. Just like any father he already knows the truth.

Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Although I have done a “few” bad things in my life, I look forward to the meeting because someone has already taken the punishment for me.

Acts 13:38 "Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

Have a wonderful day


Wanda said...

Great story.... Even better application...and love those verses.

There were 3 of us, and my sister and brother still swear I was the favorite and got less punishment.

I'm the middle one...I didn't see it that way!!

Angie said...

Oh Greg, this was such a beautiful post! I agree with Wanda...great application.

side note: I was an only child. I remember running from my dad when it was time for my spanking with a belt. When he'd catch me I'd say, "I love you, Daddy". Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't.

p.s. I just watched a documentary on Hell's Angels and can't believe you threw oranges at those guys! LOL--Yikers!

Patty said...

Great post. I was the oldest and even if it wasn't my fault, since I was the oldest, it was always and where were you at that (whichever kid was in trouble) got into this trouble or made this mess. Like I was suppose to be watching over them all the time. I don't think so.

I had one sister and two brothers younger then myself. Sister, 4 years younger, one brother 8 years younger and the baby is 11 years younger. My sister passed away from breast cancer when she was around 43.

Some grown ups like to blame someone else to make themselves look good.

Have a good evening.

natalie said...

I'm glad you found MBS and I checked the comments! Your application to The Word is moving and so very true. Living in the moment with a two year old, I find myself trying to teach her the gospel only to forget to show her the grace Our Father has shown us. I'll check back often, if you don't mind!

Annie said...

Do you suppose fathers who confront their children with gentleness and kindness would have children less likely to blame others?

Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

That is a great story Greg! I had a brother but felt like an only child since my brother was 7 yrs older than me. We were never close. I vowed as a child that I will never wait 7 yrs between my kids. Did I mention that when Preston was born my kids ages were 14... 7... and a newborn!! Yep I did it. God knows what he's doing though, and my kids seem to have a better relationship with each other than I ever had with my brother.

Celticspirit said...

Nice Post Greg! And I have to say I love your sunrise pictures. They are so beautiful! Barb

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