Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

December 16, 2011

Most Foolish . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

What is the most foolish thing you have ever done?  I am going to tell you about what I put at the top of my list!

Let’s be on the same page with the word foolish.  I wanted to be sure I was using the correct word so I looked the word up in the dictionary.  The first definition was “without good sense.”  That fits what I am going to share.  I am remembering a foolish act that was unwise and dangerous.  So my question could have been the most dangerous thing ever done.  I am not speaking of danger that could not be avoided, but danger that existed because I was unwise and didn’t use good sense.

At my age I often mutter to myself after observing certain actions of a young person . . . or even one much older . . . and I say to myself, “That was foolish.”  I thought what they did was dangerous, uncalled for, unwise, and just without good sense.  But as I made such an observation recently, I had to halt my thinking and remember I did some foolish things!

I thought for a moment on the question, “What is the most foolish thing I have ever done?”  Two situations came so quickly that I am not sure what things would have followed.  The second thing that came occurred in north Georgia.  A friend and myself had arranged dates with two young ladies.  We drove a couple of hours out of Atlanta.  The young ladies had planned a gathering with some other friends in one of the state parks.  After we ate, two of the local fellows, who knew these young ladies well, offered to take us on a boat excursion across the lake.  We all got into what was a very fast ski boat.  I felt uncomfortable from the beginning.  Darkness on such a lake at the speed we were travelling was extremely unwise — foolish.  But I kept quiet.

I realized these two fellows desired to frighten us and impress the young ladies they knew.  Suddenly, the driver of the speed boat slowed and allowed the engine to die.  The boat began to slowly move toward what I knew was the dam.  The driver focused a spotlight ahead.  There was the overspill with water flowing through it.  He allowed the boat to go with the current until the bow rested on the overspill.  I confess I was scared.  Of course, I tried not to show it.  I imagined his starting the engine –being confused about the gear, and putting it in forward and not in reverse.  Obviously, all turned out well. But this ranks high in times of being foolish.  My consolation is that it was not the result of my action, but on another.  Yet, I cannot disregard my part of not acknowledging disapproval and that this was unwise, foolish, but. . . at that age and in that environment . . . I confess I was chicken!

So let me share the number one on my  list.  And I was totally responsible!

Our junior class from high school had an outing at the foot of Stone Mountain.  After dark, we were sitting around the fire talking about experiences on the mountain.   Many had stories . . . but having grown up just a few blocks away, I had many stories.  Most knew about times that old cars had been pushed off the side of the mountain.  I told them of time that one old junk car was pushed off the steep side of the mountain with dummies dressed like Hitler and Messalina.

The question came, “How can someone drive a car up the mountain?  There are places too steep for a car to go.”  I explained that you didn’t follow the path that people walked.  There were some turns to make to avoid those steep places.  I told them that during the war, there was a lookout post there manned by soldiers.  They drove jeeps, and even a truck, to the top.

That is about when I began to show that I would do a foolish thing.  I invited some to go with me.  “Let’s drive up there right now.  My old ’36 Chevy can do it.”  Several fellows took me up on the idea.  We headed out –mind you, it is dark — but I had good headlights and I knew the way.  After time, we were right to the ridge of the top.  I had proved my point and we started back down.  Now, I was the only one riding inside.  The others were hanging on and standing on the running board.  They wanted to be sure they could bail ship at any time.  And bail they did!  By the time I got back down, I had no companions.  It was far more dangerous coming down than going up!

It was dangerous — foolish — unwise.  Now I look back and ask what prompted me to do it?  Was it a dare?  Was it simply a challenge to do something I have never done?  Was I trying to be a show-off, a big man?  Probably all of it was involved.  I do know that ego can lead us into some dangerous situations.

Though I could list some other times of doing foolish things — even in times when I was more mature — what comes to my heart at this moment is thankfulness to my Heavenly Father who provided protection and care.  When I should have been more wise and protected myself by not doing it, God was there.  We can never comprehend God’s omnipotent power and presence.  He could have just let me reap the possible results of my foolishness, but He didn’t.  Oh, how blessed to have such a watchful Father!

“The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going from now and forevermore.”  (Psalm 121:7-9)

Lawson

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