For many hiking enthusiasts, being forced to camp in the woods for seven days in a tent with some basic items wouldn’t be a punishment, it would be a vacation. However, for on fourteen year old in South Carolina this was the punishment her parents gave her and their reason…because she ate a pop tart without their permission.
Side note before I go on; for our fellow HBF member Popeye, eating a pop tart became a staple on her A.T. thru-hike.
If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, here is an article about this ridiculous punishment instituted by two parents. Now, I’m not against punishment for bad behavior, but I am against abuse and neglect. And from what I’ve read in the article this is clearly abuse and neglect and not the first time for this set of parents. They say the punishment should fit the crime. If found guilty, because they are innocent until proven guilty, then maybe they should be forced to live in a tent in the woods and have food delivered to a designated spot each day at specific times. Oh wait…that’s jail, minus the comfort of a jail cell.
So what is the purpose behind me ranting and writing about a set of parents who made a bad decision, a really bad decision. It seems more and more we are seeing in the news people making bad decisions that effect the lives of others. Every day we make many decisions that can either make our day better or worse. Some decisions are a piece of cake to make. Other decisions take great wisdom.
God has provided us with the resource to make right decisions. The resource comes from His Word, the bible, and from the Holy Spirit that lives within us.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. ~ Jeremiah 29:11
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. ~ James 1:5
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.~ Proverbs 11:14
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. ~ 1 John 5:14
Our world is not getting easier, evil and sin are running more rampant all the time. Satan is having his way and doing so with his lies more and more. All you need to do is watch the first five minutes of news each day to see it. And as followers of Jesus our decisions can either feed the fire of sin or spread the good news of Jesus. Our decisions each day can also effect the lives of others. Imagine how differently things would be for this family who forced their daughter to live in the woods as punishment if just one person made the choice to share the gospel and set an example.
Remember, life is a journey we hike by faith and making the difficult choice is the godly choice. Avoid the easy button.