Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Today’s Topic: Whom Do You Trust
Today’s Text: Psalm 119:41-42 (ESV)
41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
Two brothers are playing down by the river. Their father has instructed them to not use the tire swing that hangs from a large branch extending beyond the river’s bank. A neighbor boy arrives in his swim trunks and carrying a towel. He heads straight for the swing. He begins to verbalize his intentions of standing on the tire and swinging it far out over the river and jumping into the water below.
As he climbs onto the swing for the first time, he taunts the two brothers who are staying a safe distance away from the water’s edge. He calls their courage into question using words like sissy and scaredy-cat. He accuses them of weakness and physical disability by claiming they aren’t strong enough to hang on to the rope. He challenges their ability to swim. He mocks their manhood even though they are just boys and declares them to be wimps.
As the taunter returns from his first dive into the river, his verbal bashing begins again. One brother begins to make his way towards the swing to prove himself. His brother runs after him and grabs his arm, reminding him of what their dad had said about staying off the swing. The neighbor boy makes another antagonistic comment about boys who can’t make decisions for themselves, and climbs onto the swing for another attempt at an even higher dive off the tire.
The brothers begin to explain to the boy why their dad had told them to stay off the swing. But the swing-happy boy would not listen. As the brother’s eyes followed the swing as it reached an ever-increasing altitude, they noticed the frayed rope their dad had warned them about at the point where it was tied to the tree branch. It was unraveling right before their eyes, and before they could yell out to stop the boy on the swing, the rope let loose. The swing was on a return path towards the tree and the free-falling tire propelled itself and the rider into the rocky river bank. The rider was seriously injured.
After watching the ambulance take their neighbor away, they hugged their dad. He thanked the boys for obeying. They thanked him for warning them about the swing. They began to understand their father’s love that established rules for their own good. They saw that the words of their father could be trusted. They understood that no amount of taunting and ridicule from others should ever convince them to reject their father’s will just to try to protect their own image.