Sometimes life on social media is all wonderful and perfect and nothing ever goes wrong … or we don’t ever admit anything has gone wrong.
One of the things I’ve been doing during quarantine is going through my old journals (the kind that start in January each year and fade off by July) and putting the stuff I want my great-grandchildren to know on the computer and demolishing the rest of it. You know the parts that are written in such crazy code that I can’t even decipher it. (Think freshman year.)
I was a fairly honest kid. My father wouldn’t have let me be anything less. Trust me. So didn’t do a lot of things that might’ve shown up on social media … if we had had social media.
Except for my senior year and the Forest View Falcon fiasco.
This all started innocently enough. I was dating a guy from our biggest rival – Forest View (which is no longer a school). Their mascot was the falcon. So this guy tells me that he needs to write an original fairy tale and then translate it into Spanish for his final project. Are you getting the picture? I like writing original stories. He doesn’t. He wants help. So I’m thinking (and justifying), “If I wrote it in English – that’s not really the grade part.” I kind of ignored that he was supposed to do something “original.”
And I came up with a super cute idea. A princess lived in a castle called Forest View and the enemies were out to get her. However, the brave prince sent out the castle’s falcons with a secret message so the invading army could be destroyed. (I forget how that quite happened, but it made sense.) And the punchline? “Even today you hear people shout “Watch out for the Forest View Falcons.”
I thought it was rather clever.
So did the guy I wrote it for.
Unfortunately, so did his teacher who wanted to publish it as the official school story behind the falcons mascot.
I suddenly didn’t feel so good. We didn’t know what to do! First of all, this wasn’t MY assignment, but it was MY original story. Secondly, I was from the rival high school, not someone you want to be celebrated for your school story.
I wasn’t crazy about admitting it all to my parents either.
So we came up with a plan. We’d be quiet and if the teacher insisted on publishing, we would go to him together and admit what happened. If he didn’t pursue it, we wouldn’t pursue it.
But the idea seemed to die on the Spanish teacher’s desk. (Though my friend did get an A.)
Still, it was always there in back of my mind – because as a rule I didn’t do other people’s homework (even though THAT was a very cute story) . My own homework was enough. I do think I told my parents what happened when I was about 43 or something.
The thing is, we all have these “little” sins that we’ve done that stagnate in our brain. And in the grand scheme of things we justify them and figure they aren’t so bad.
God says: For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. (James 2:10). Doesn’t matter if we robbed a bank or dishonestly did someone else’s work – we are still guilty.
But think about it – God forgave my sin when He died on the cross. I had accepted His gift of forgiveness. He did that for me … and you.
I can’t do anything about this situation. The school isn’t there, the teacher isn’t there, and who knows where that guy is. However, there are other things in my life that I CAN take care of …. apologizing to the people I’ve wronged and then thanking God for the forgiveness I have in Him.
Teach your kids that God’s forgiven them. That’s why He had to die. Then encourage them to go to anyone they’ve hurt and ask for forgiveness.
And I challenge you, too. God’s forgiven you, you can rest assured in that. But take care of the human part – the part where you might have to tell someone you’re sorry.
You know, like if you wrote about castles and falcons for the rival high school or something crazy like that.