Today’s story comes from Papua New Guinea.
Come on, William,” some boys called. “We’re going to the forest to play!” William liked playing with his friends, but his mother had warned him, “Don’t play in the forest. It’s dangerous, and you could get hurt.”
But playing hide and seek in the forest was so much more fun; there were so many good places to hide. William jumped up and ran toward his friends. He’d go this once. Mother wouldn’t know.
William crouched low as one of the boys searched near his hiding place. When the boy had passed by, William darted toward the tree that was home base. He didn’t see the vine that curled across his path. It tangled around his leg and tossed him into the air. He landed in a deep ditch. He tried to stand up and reach the vine to pull himself up, but he couldn’t reach it.
“Help!” he cried. “Help!” Some of the boys heard William call and ran to find him. They pushed the vine down so William could grab it, then they pulled him out of the ditch. He tried to stand, but his bare foot hurt. Two of his friends helped him walk home.
William was glad that his mom was asleep when he arrived home. He didn’t want to tell her that he had gotten hurt disobeying her. He washed his foot and examined a cut on the bottom. It hurt to walk on it, but maybe no one would notice.
But mothers notice things, and William’s mom noticed he was limping. “What happened to your foot?” she asked.
“I got a cut while I was playing,” William said. At least that much is true, he thought.
“Where were you playing? she asked as she examined William’s foot.
“In the field,” he lied.
Mother found out the truth, and William was punished twice—once for disobeying and playing in the forest, and once for lying.
“I learned that it doesn’t pay to lie,” William said. “And it doesn’t pay to disobey, either. Mom reminded me that parents don’t make rules just to keep us from having fun. They want to keep us safe.
“I want to be a pastor when I grow up. That means I must be a good example to others so that they will learn to listen to God’s voice. We can do that by listening to our parents and teachers and others in authority. Then it will be natural to listen to God’s voice and follow Him. Now when my friends want me to play in the forest, I just tell them, ‘No thanks. My parents don’t want me to play there. I’ll just stay home.’”
Boys and girls, when we obey those in authority, we are being good examples to others who need to learn to listen and obey God. Let’s practice obedience this week.