By Greg Johnson
It’s Tuesday night and you’re kicking back, watching TV. The phone rings, and you jump to answer it. It’s a friend from class! She wants to know if you can come over to her house after school tomorrow. Laying the phone receiver down, you race upstairs to Mom. She says it’s fine as long as your friend’s mom is home. You go back to the phone and ask if her mom works. When she says no, you say you can come and stay until about five.
The next day, you see your friend and confirm plans to walk home together. Everything is set, but something’s weird. She asks if you like to try new things.
“Well, sometimes. It depends on what it is,” you say.
“I’m not going to tell you, but it’s really cool. You’ll like it,” she says.
As she walks away, she turns around and laughs.
I wonder what she’s got on her mind, you think.
After school, you walk the half mile to her house. She doesn’t bring it up again, so you’re feeling better about going over. You talk about the day, your homework, and what you’re going to do on the weekend.
As you walk up her driveway, she says you need to head around back to get in.
“Why?” you ask.
“Because my mom’s not home, so we have to get in through the sliding glass door,” she says.
“I thought you said your mom didn’t work?”
“She doesn’t. She’s helping my grandma do some shopping today and won’t be home ‘til about 4:30. She trusts me, I guess. My older brother will be home from high school at about 4:00.
“Hey, remember at recess today when I asked you if you liked to try new things?” she asks.
“Well, have you ever tried smoking cigarettes?”
“What? Are you kidding? Why would I want to do that?”
“Cause it’s cool. Come on, I’ll grab a couple of my dad’s and we’ll go out in the backyard by that big tree. No one will know.”
“I don’t know,” you say. “What if we get caught?”
“We’re not going to get caught, believe me. I’m not going to tell anyone, are you?”
“Well... no. But your mom was supposed to be home, and if my mom finds out she wasn’t, she’ll be pretty mad. I think I’d better call her.”
“You’re chicken, aren’t you?”
Questions to Think On
• What would you say if she said that?
• Besides cigarettes, what else could a friend offer that would be a bad idea to take?
• What would have been the best plan once you found out her parents weren’t home?
• Mom and Dad: Did you ever try something like this when you were a kid? What happened?
What Does God Have to Say?
Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strive? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.