The Screen And Ladder Fiasco

I was a third grader and I had forgotten my house key. The only way to get in the house was to climb a ladder to get in through the side window. I forgot to put the screen back on and didn’t think anything about it. I went about the rest of my afternoon doing whatever thrilling stuff I did at that age.

My mom called after she got off work and said we were going to get something to eat, so we piled in our 65 Chevy Nova and went to McDonalds. As we returned home I remembered that I had left the screen off the window and my mom was going to be angry. So I ran ahead of my family and climbed the ladder to put the screen back on. Here’s where it gets weird…

Evidently, I was silhouetted in the window by the streetlight or the moon or possibly my ever-glowing halo. Okay, it was either the streetlight or the moon. Anyway, when my mom finally opened the door, all she could see was a shadowy figure looming in the kitchen! She started screaming bloody murder. She startled me and I fell off the ladder, knocking the wind out of me and making me cry (Hey, I was in third grade).

My mom thought whoever was in the kitchen had grabbed me. Chaos ensued! When the neighbors finally got through our fence what they found was a very hysterical little woman, a chubby kid laying in the mud clutching his chest and crying, and my two younger brothers crying because they didn’t know what else to do.

When cooler heads prevailed, we reasoned out what had happened. I was sure that my painful portion of the ordeal would spare me from any punishment, but no such luck. I was grounded for a week, but spared a spanking. And I was going to have to replace the screen since I had fallen on it, pretty much ending its ability to conform to the correct shape needed to be a screen.

As I remembered that story the other day I thought of how similar my dealings with God can be. You see, I didn’t mean to scare my mom, she just didn’t understand what was going on. There are so many times when I just don’t understand what God is doing, or why He allows certain things to happen to me. It is only after looking back or settling down that I can see the wisdom of His plans and what He allows in my life.

Take the Ten Commandments, for instance. There are some good rules in there, and they make just as much sense today as they did when Moses first got ‘em hot off God’s presses. The first few deal with our relationship with God and the rest deal with our relationships with each other.

Instead of looking at them as God’s list of do’s and don’ts, look at them as God meant them. They are a list of ways for us to live happier, more fulfilling lives. It’s a list of how to best live next door to your neighbor. It’s a list of how to be a better dad, mom, and child. It’s a list that will protect you and guide you as you go through life. Irrelevant? No way. Jails all across the country are full of people who disregarded the basic principles of the Ten Commandments. Although it angers the atheists to hear it, the vast majority of our laws can be traced back to “God’s Top Ten.”

My screen caper cost me some embarrassment, some wind, and a few bucks. Ignoring God’s commandments costs a whole lot more. Take a few moments and reflect on the times that got you in the most trouble or caused you the most pain. I’m guessing that some, if not most, of them could have been avoided if you, or the others around you, had paid attention to these simple rules.

Still afraid of ladders… Jerry

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