When I was in the 10th grade, a new church was constructed near my home in Southeast Texas. Several of my friends and I went down and tried to assist quite often. Our church members were extremely proud of the beautiful brick building that replaced an old run- down wooden structure that no longer met our needs.
We began holding our weekly youth activities there every Wednesday night as soon as it was complete. One evening Roger and I went in to check out the new kitchen. He switched on one of the electric stove burners and before long it was bright red. For some unknown reason he thought it would be fun to put a rubber eraser he had on the red hot burner. Almost immediately the room was engulfed with the sickening smell of burning rubber as the eraser quickly melted and a small cloud of black smoke rose from the burner. We had no idea that our “fancy” new building had smoke detectors, since we didn’t even know they existed. Within a short time, fire alarms were ringing throughout the building. Roger quickly turned off the burner and we rushed out of the kitchen unseen.
As we were exiting the building, I heard Asa our adult leader yelling for everyone to get outside because the building was on fire. I stood outside in the growing darkness with the rest of the youth and our youth leaders but didn’t say a word about how the smoke and apparent fire started. It was very embarrassing for me to see the adults frantically run through the building trying to find the source of the fire. They soon discovered the problem and appeared quite upset as they returned to determine who was responsible. Roger seemed to have disappeared by that time and I said nothing about my role in the incident.
Suddenly we all saw a very unattractive two-seat Rambler car with its lights off driving by us out of the parking lot. Everyone assembled knew Roger was driving the car but it seemed to be driving itself as it passed by. Roger must have thought he would be invisible if he rode low enough in the seat. He then did a strange thing. Instead of turning left on the highway away from the church and the crowd toward his home, he turned right and passed right in front of the assembled crowd.
All eyes followed the little car as he drove toward a gas station a few blocks away. No one spoke as we watched the little car make a U-turn and head back in our direction. It was obvious Roger had the gas pedal all the way to the floor, even though the small Rambler was struggling to build up any kind of speed. He still hadn’t turned on the headlights as he went by us again. In the moonlight the car still appeared to have no driver.
I think at this point the adults had a fairly good idea who put the eraser on the stove. I never came forward with the fact that I was with him and witnessed the mischief. Sometimes we’re a lot like Roger. We don’t think things through before we act and somehow think that no one will ever know about our mistakes if we just “lay low.” That is seldom the case.
When we act before thinking there are often consequences that we never anticipated.
We should assume that our secret acts are going to be shouted from the rooftop.
Study things our in your mind and ask if the decision is right before acting.