The Dart Story

The dart hanging from my scalp bounced against the back of my head as I chased my brother. There was malice in my heart as I ran through the house as fast as my chubby legs could carry me. If I caught my brother Greg before he got to our mom, he was a dead man.

Let me take you back to a quiet afternoon in the Godsey house: somebody had been stupid enough to give my brothers and I a dart board.

Greg and I were taking turns throwing at the board, actually playing nicely. Then Greg began to lose. Now, Greg is not what you would call a gracious loser. In fact, Greg is not what you would call a gracious anything! The more points I scored, the madder Greg got.

I had beaten him once again, and was heading to the board to reclaim my darts when I felt a dull thud followed by a stabbing pain in the back of my head. Greg had thrown his dart at me! He immediately did exactly what his survival instinct told him to do; he ran!

I finally caught him right as he got to our mom. My mom is like most parents. She was less concerned about right and wrong and more concerned with us not messing with her. I pulled the dart out of the back of my head (I am not making this up!), and shook the dart in my mom’s face. “Look what Greg did to me!”

Mom said, “He didn’t mean to, leave him alone.” Mom always did like Greg best. Don’t you feel sorry for me?

Obviously, this answer was not good enough for me. I reached through her arms and punched Greg right in his fat stomach. Greg began crying and Mom began spanking…me! How unfair was this? I’m the one who got skewered in the back of the head and now I’m going to get spanked for defending myself! Life ain’t fair!

My mom grabbed me by the hand and reached for a belt, which Greg was more than happy to supply. She began swatting my behind while holding my hand. My brothers always tried to run away from her when she spanked them this way. This is not a good manuever. The last thing you want when you are being spanked is for your mom to have a wide arc to swing the belt. Greg and Tim would try to run away and get really smacked hard.

I, on the other hand, was vastly superior to them in my strategy. I got as close to my mom as I could, thus cutting down her swinging stroke. The belt stung a little, but not much. The whole time she spanked me I cried as loud as I could. It cost me a little bit in pride but saved my behind.

Life is a lot like those spankings. I may or may not have deserved this spanking, but I deserved many that I didn’t get, so it all balances out. All of us have times when we have to go to the woodshed. My mom didn’t spank me because she hated me ( although I may have wondered at times), she spanked me because she loved me.

I know parents who don’t discipline their kids at all. They believe that letting their children do whatever they want is best for the kids. Baloney! As a teacher, I had to deal with these kids later in their lives. They came into my classroom undisciplined and unable to keep up. As a member of law enforcement I often photograph these kids or their victims. As a pastor, I have to go visit them in jail or perform their funerals. None of this is pleasant, for me, for the kid, or for the parent.

No, the best thing for a kid is to take care of their business at a young age. I firmly believe that is why God put so much padding on our behinds. He knew that parents would need a place to swat, so he padded the area. A good parent disciplines the children he loves.

God is a loving Father. He loves you so much He sent His Son to die for you. He also loves you enough to discipline you when you get out of line.

When God takes you to the woodshed you can do like my brothers and run as far from Him as you can. The problem is, like my brothers, the swat gets harder the further you get from God. No matter where you go, God is there, so why try to get away?

Instead, be smart like me! When you are going through a time of discipline, get as close to God as you can. It stings a lot less and it gets over quicker. Remember, the purpose of the Lord’s discipline is to help you get better. You’re not going to improve on your own, so let Him help you. Listen to Him, find out what went wrong and let Him fix it. Trust me, it works!

Returning from God’s woodshed (ouch!)… Jerry

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