Being from the “Great State of Alabama” winters were interesting. You see, we had snow periodically and a lot of cold weather. When we did have the snow it is almost, ALWAYS with ICE. This makes an interesting time for those in their teenage years. We did not have sleds or the fancy things to sled with. When the snow and ice came it was, “grab what you can” and let’s go!
In 1974 we had one of the coldest winters I remember. Several inches of snow had fallen and the temperatures were WELL below the freezing level for MANY days. My cousins Russell and Paul and myself were BORED so what do bored teens do? Sometimes, not so smart things. We decided that a walk up to Camp Mac was the thing to do. Now it was about 3 miles from the house, so we bundled up, me looking like Ralphie from The Christmas Story. We told our parents where we were going and off we went!
Now there was ice EVERYWHERE and no cars were on the road, Yes, we walked up to the camp and yes, it was cold and yes, we didn’t care. We were young,tough and not so smart!
When we got to the Camp, it was amazing! Snow was everywhere and when we got to the lake it was frozen! Frozen lake in Alabama + teenagers + boredom = not so good ideas! I think the conversation went something like this:
Paul: This is pretty neat!
Russell: I wonder how thick it is?
Russell: I wonder if we can walk on it?
Paul: Who weighs the least?
They both look at me – Yep, a little over 100 pounds.(I was a heavyweight)!
Russell: Look we have got you, just try it! It looks pretty solid.
Me: Sure! If I fall in the water I come out as an ICE CUBE!!!
Paul: We have got you!
Me: Right…. all I am thinking is: if I die, my Mom will kill me!
So needless to say, I agreed to it, I think I heard the word “chicken” somewhere in the conversation
NOTE: We knew where the SHALLOW end of the lake was and that is where we were!
I took the first step out – holding on to the cousins hand. I heard no crack – second step -nothing.
Whew, It’s safe…
Me: Come on Russell!, Paul!
Me: Sooo put the short skinny boy out in the middle of the lake and let him take the chance!
Needless to say they stepped out a bit, scared and SMART! They knew the danger that was there! Then THEY got off! (I think the sound of a crack in the ice might have had something to do with this).
I think about that time, about the risk, the chance and danger that was there! (Yes, it was extremely dangerous).
I think about the places people go today, seemingly harmless, yet full of danger and I’m not speaking of physical danger.
Danger to the soul. The presence of evil, we should run away from.
But thou, O man of God, FLEE these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness – 1 Timothy 6:11
So here are a few thoughts for your soul.
1. Notice the presence of DANGER – and RUN! – 1 Timothy 6:11
2. Don’t let the people around, encourage you OR convince you that it is okay to be there,
IT’S NOT! – 1 Cor. 15:33
3. Even if you survive or make it through does not make it right
4. If caught in the trap, be willing to call for help and for those listening,
RUN and RESCUE! – Jude v.23
5. You will never have to learn from a mistake if you NEVER engage in it! (Tweet this)
Yes, I made it on and off the ice, I didn’t get hurt and I lived to tell the story.
I will always live with the “What ifs”
The ice was weak.
I had fallen through
My cousins could not rescue me
They had come on the ice.
They had fallen through.
I could not rescue them.
We all died.
I think the same about souls around me..
I don’t want to live with the “What ifs”