The little rural church always held its annual summer Bible School for kids. Each mid-morning, loud and boisterous honyocks were let outside for a few minutes for snacks and exercise. Balls were tossed around, and various games played until their exhausted teachers half-heartedly called them back inside.

That fateful morning, a young Andy Bowman had proudly sported his new wheat-colored jeans to Bible School. Knowing her son’s ability to find every possible way to ruin his clothing, his mom had vehemently disagreed. But when he kept insisting he would be careful, she warned him of the dire penalties he faced if his new jeans got damaged.

As they were summoned back to class after breaktime that warm sunny day, Quarterback Keith told his buddy Andy to “go for one more long pass.” Andy saw this as an opportunity to impress a certain young lady in his class of his considerable skills as a receiver. So with a grin, he started running while looking back over his shoulder, tracking the ball.

In his imagination, he could hear an excited crowd roaring its approval and see the infatuated smile on little Becky’s face. Seeing the football begin its final descent, he leaped as far as he could, stretched his arms out and was poised to make the catch on his fingertips. Sure enough, he cradled the ball safely in his hands as he hit the ground.

At the edge of the church yard where the kitchen sink constantly drained, was a bog of foul-smelling, sticky mud. And always growing in that stinking mess was tall Johnson grass. Grass that effectively served as a constant warning to the kids, “DO NOT ENTER.” Every kid in that community knew to stop at the edge of that patch of high grass, or suffer the consequences.

But, evidently in preparation for the week of Bible School, a helpful someone had diligently mowed the Johnson grass.

There he landed, face down and fully stretched out in that nasty, stinking bog, where the tall grass should have been. Mud was in every orifice and covered his face. He instantly knew that his new wheat jeans were now his infamous Johnson Jeans. As he reluctantly raised his head up, he saw Becky disappear into the church. He also saw his mother approaching, shaking her finger, with words describing his not-too-distant-future blazing from her lips.

How careless and foolish could a young teen be, ignoring the counsel and warnings of his mother? But even more foolish? To have just lain there in that stinking mess. To not bother to raise himself up, go home, strip off his ruined clothing, and find a nice hot shower.

Just like foolishly falling into a stinking mistake in life. It happens to us all at one time or another. But it is more foolish to simply lie there in that filth. Apologize to your Creator. Then get up, clean up and go again.

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