"Does your Dad know you are here?"
Those words sent a shiver down my six year old spine and caused me to reevaluate my priorities.
It was a Summer day in 1952 and like all summer days for children, boring. I had nothing to do, I thought, and my Mom's answer to, "Go out and play" seemed empty of promise until I realized she had not specified where "out" was. Out was a big place. Surely out included my friend, Johnny Tierny's house. It was only over the railroad tracks and along the creek a ways. I was pretty sure I could find it and the walk could be exciting.
Just as I was about to cross the railroad tracks I heard the voice of God - or so it seemed until I turned and looked up to see the Bank's president leaning out of his second story window. He was an Elder at First Church of Christ and like most people in that little town of Olive Hill, Kentucky, knew the "preacher's kid" by sight.
"Yes?" I answered though the question mark was probably very clear to Mr. King. It was the only thing I could think to say and immediately felt guilty.
"OK, well, I will just call the Church Office and let him know you are alright."
Up to that point in my journey I was focused on finding excitement. Excitement that I could not find in my own back yard. However, his offer to call my Dad completely changed my priorities. My new priority was to avoid the inevitable spanking for disobedience. "That's OK," I squeaked out, "I was just heading back home anyway" and I turned and began to run home.
The decisions we make in life are based on our priorities for life. I have found if I keep God close to me, like Louie King six decades ago, I will be challenged to chose the more worthy path. It has proved to be just as exciting and on that same day while playing in the back yard I still managed to climb the Empire State Building and slay King Kong to save the day. Better yet I did not have a date with Dad's belt.
"...the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son" (Hebrews 12:6).