“Fine! I’m leaving!”
I stormed out of the townhouse where I lived with my father. We were arguing over an issue and my 13-year old mind was made up. Blame it on my nascent adolescence, but I knew I was right and I would make sure my father would regret disagreeing with me. As I wandered through the neighborhood, I realized that my rash and impulsive behavior did not formulate a plan. I had a few dollars, no credit cards, and this was an era before cell phones.
It was only a 15-minute walk to my mother’s home and I was drawn to it. My parents had divorced a year earlier and I chose to live with my father while my younger sister lived with my mother. Perhaps it was guilt or a need to be accepted and loved, whatever the reason, I needed a chance to be proven correct. I clambered up the fence next to a window at my mother’s home and listened in on a conversation between my mother and younger sister.
“But where is he?” My sister was crying.
“We are looking for him and we have called the police.”
“Why did he leave?”
“I don’t know sweetheart. We just have to pray that he will safely come home.”
As I listened to my mother and my younger sister crying together, I was humiliated. I was on the fence. I still felt resentment because of the argument with my father but was confronted with my abject selfishness, placing my family in the path of so much anguish. After a few minutes, I had heard enough. I went to the front door and knocked on it. I was immediately embraced by my sobbing mother and I collapsed in tears as my sister joined us. The police soon arrived and took me back to my father’s home. Expecting the first degree, my father also embraced me, tears running from his eyes. The police officer gave me a stern lecture as my father stood there without saying a word. When we were alone, my father put his arms around me and said, “Son, I am so sorry.” I couldn’t stand this any longer and blurted out, “No Dad, I’m sorry.”
“Please don’t ever do that again. If we have an argument, let’s try to work things out.”
“Yes, Dad. I promise.”
But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
Luke 5:8 (ESV)
Peter was confident in his abilities as a fisherman. He didn’t need anyone telling him what to do, much less properly perform his profession. Peter sarcastically responded to Jesus’ suggestion to take his boat into deeper water and cast his nets, after an unsuccessful night of fishing. As Peter stated, ”Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5:5). To his surprise, he caught so many fish, their nets were breaking. Everything changed when he was confronted with the Truth of Jesus Christ. Prior to this, he was on the fence about following Jesus, but no longer! He realized his true sinful nature and chose to follow Jesus Christ.
The evening I ran away, I was literally on the fence when I was confronted with my own sinful nature. I needed to be right but realized that my definition of being right meant catering to my own immature and selfish nature. Although I kept my promise to my father and never ran away again, there were many times, I re-climbed that fence, defiant to remain there until I had my way. A few years later, in college, I finally came down from the fence and confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. For the first time in my life, I could be honest with myself, realizing that I could not continue living my life as I did. I desperately needed a Savior and God answered my prayers.
I pray that for all who are seeking the Truth, come down from the fence and meet your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.