Updated: Dec 22, 2021
My Story Starts. . .
I have a story I’d like to share with you.
My story starts when I was in Middle School. School had started and it was the fall right after Halloween. My brother Larry and I were playing outside in our backyard when we saw a couple of our neighborhood friends,Dan and Stan, playing next door.
Now Dan and Stan weren’t probably the best friends to play with. They had introduced me to smoking and pornography when I was a few years younger. Now they had this dummy that that must have been left over from Halloween.
Try to visualize this dummy. The head was made out of a white cloth material and was stuffed with news papers with eyes, nose and a mouth drawn on with a permanent marker. It was attached to a shirt stuffed with newspaper with gloves sewn on the ends of the sleeves for hands.
Pants were sewn to the bottom of the shirt and also stuffed with newspapers. Socks were attached to the bottom of each pant leg for feet. The completed dummy was about the size of an average person. Can you get a visual image of what it might look like?
We were thinking about what we might be able to do with it when we got a brilliant idea. My brother and I had a tree in our families yard that was next to the road with a tree house platform in it and the limbs hung out over the road. Can you see where I’m going with this?
We thought that it would be pretty cool if we could take the dummy and attach a rope to its head and have it hang in the road like it was standing. If a car came down the road at night and got close to the dummy standing in the road, we could quickly pull it up into the tree.
Could you just imagine what the drivers would be thinking? We all thought, “This is going to be really cool!!!!” Wouldn’t you agree?
“What materials would we need?” A small pulley with a small piece of rope to tie to the limb in the tree over the road so that we could raise and lower the dummy from a longer rope. A longer rope would be attached to the dummies head and run through the pulley attached to the limb in the tree to the tree house where we could pull the dummy up and down. We searched our parents houses and garages until we found everything that we needed for our mission.
Larry and Stan stayed on the ground with the dummy while Dan and I climbed up into the treehouse with the pulley and ropes. Dan carefully climbed out onto one of the limbs that went out over the road with the short rope and pulley. He tied the rope to the pulley so that the pulley hung underneath the limb. Next, I hung onto one end of the longer rope and carefully threw Dan the other end. He caught the rope and fed it through the pulley until it reached the road.
Larry and Stan grabbed the end of the rope and attached it to the the dummies head. In the meantime, Dan had climbed back to me to the treehouse platform. After attaching the rope to the dummy’s head, Larry and Stan let go. I pulled the rope so that the dummy would stand in the middle of the rode with his feet just touching the ground. It looked really sweeeeeeeeet! Can you picture what it looked like?
We had a couple of trial runs pulling the dummy up into the tree and then letting it down again. The test runs were a success so we were ready for business. We pulled the dummy up into the tree so no one would see it for the rest of the day. We tied the other end of the rope to a limb to hold it up in the tree. We then climbed down and went home for dinner and waited for it to get dark out. We could hardly wait for evening to get here.
Evening finally came and we all met at the tree house wearing dark clothes so that we wouldn’t be easily seen. All of us climbed up into the treehouse, untied the rope and lowered the dummy to the ground until it’s feet touched the road. It looked so cool. The street light at the end of the road gave enough light so that you could see the dummy in the road but not enough to know if it was real or not. We then waited for our first customer.
Guess what? We saw the headlights of a car coming down the road toward the dummy. The headlights got bigger and bigger the closer and closer it got. The car started to slow down as it approached the dummy. When it got close enough, we pulled the rope quickly and zipped the dummy up into the tree. The car tentatively passed underneath.
We were laughing and carrying on giving each other high fives. We could just imagine what the people in the car must have been thinking. We could hardly wait for the next car to come by to try it again.
We slowly lowered the dummy back down to the road ready for our next victim, I mean customer. Sure enough headlights! Another car was coming!! As it approached the dummy standing in the road, it started to slow down like the other car. We waited patiently. When it got close enough, we quickly pulled the rope and the dummy zipped up into the tree.
The car slowly passed under the dummy when ‘OH-NO!!’ Guess what happened? I can’t believe it. As the car passed underneath the dummy, the rope broke and the dummy fell out of the tree and landed right on the cars windshield.
Could you imagine driving along at night when all of a sudden something falls on your windshield that looks like a dead body. That was not part of our plan.
The four of us quickly climbed down the tree and hid. I have no idea where Stan and Dan went but my brother Larry and I were hiding around the corner of our house. We watched the car continue down the street and turn the corner. I’m like “Whew, we’re in the clear.” When out of the blue- someone grabbed my brother by the jacket and lifted him right off the ground and started yelling at him. We screamed for our lives.
I yelled like a little girl and took off running to the front of our house. I snuck quietly inside not to bring attention to myself, slipped into a chair and pretended like I was watching the TV the whole time.
I didn’t want my parents to know what we had been doing or we would have been in big trouble. My mom asked what I was up to. I said “Oh, nothing, just watching some TV.” I was safe but was wondering if Larry was ok.
My brother told me later that the driver was pretty upset and he got his butt chewed out pretty good. You can just imagine what the driver must have told him? (Like how dangerous it was, how we could have caused an accident or sent someone to the hospital with a few choice words thrown in for affect)
Lesson from this Story
What is the lesson from this story? Can our friends affect our actions? Do we need to be careful of who we pick as friends? The answer is “Yes!”
In other words, if you hang out with dummies, you’ll become a dummy, right? Do you think hanging out with Dan and Stan was a good idea? Do you think we would have decided to hang a dummy from a tree if it would have been just my brother Larry and I? Probably not.
So, what does the bible say about choosing friends?
Proverbs 12:26-The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Or in other words, don’t be a dummy by hanging out with dummies)
1 Corinthians 15:33-says “ Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (Or hanging out with dummies can make you into a dummy.)
Proverbs 13:20-Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools (or dummies) and get in trouble.
Proverbs 18:24-One who has unreliable friends (or dummies as friends) soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Who is that? I’m guessing Jesus!)
God’s word is most definitely true, wouldn’t you say.
What to Look for in Friends
What does God say in the bible about what we should look for in our friends?
Proverbs 11:14-Without wise leadership, a nation is in trouble; but with good counselors there is safety.
Proverbs 27:9-Ointments and perfume encourage the
heart; in a similar way, a friend’s advice is sweet to the soul.
Proverbs 24:6-For through wise counsel you will wage your war, and victory lies in an abundance of advisors.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12-Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, One can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
This means if you have a good friend, weave God into your relationship to make it stronger.
The bible also says that good friends tell us what we need to hear rather than trying to flatter us.
Proverbs 27:17-As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens another friend.
Proverbs 17:17-A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
Proverbs 28:23-Whoever rebukes a man will later on find more favor than someone who flatters with his words.
Proverbs 27:5-Open criticism is better than hidden love.
Proverbs 27:6-You can trust what your friend says, even when it hurts. But your enemies want to hurt you, even when they act nice.
1 Thessalonians 5:11-Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
Remember the friendship of Jonathon and David. 1 Samuel 18:1 said “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.”
Don't Be a Dummy
Finding good friends like that to encourage you and build you up is so important. Don’t become a dummy by hanging out with dummies, I’d encourage you to find yourself a Jonathan.
John 15:13 says “No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.” Jesus died, was buried, and was resurrected for your sins and mine. So don’t be a dummy in your relationships and with Jesus.
I’d like to close with a prayer.
Dear Lord Jesus, today I’m particularly thankful for the gift of friendship—especially with you.
Jesus, you are the friend who sticks closer than a brother. You are the friend who made yourself our servant in life that you might make us your friend for eternity. You are the friend who laid down your life on the cross that you might lift ours up in glory.
There is no more faithful friend than you, Jesus. There is no richer friendship; no deeper intimacy; no greater joy, peace and comfort than that which comes to us through friendship with you. And you are so immeasurably generous with us. Everything that you have, you’ve made ours—including the friends we get to walk with through every day of our life.
I praise you for friends with whom there’s no need to pretend; for friends where I can be real, be myself and share my inner most feelings. Friends with whom tears are as welcome as well as laughter. Confessing my sin is as easy as acknowledging my successes.
Thank you for friends who provoke me to love and good deeds, for friends who “call me out,” and don’t just call me or send me a text; for friends who can finish my sentences, but don’t; for friends who love to play, pray, work and rest, have a great time and be still and listen to you; friends who aren’t dummies.
I thank you for friends that I can enjoy all things without shame and give sacrificially without hesitation; for friends who love the gospel more than gossip; who love to fish for men and for fish; who repent as quickly as easily as they sin; friends who are sensitive, but not fragile; strong, but not harsh; present, but not hovering.
Lord Jesus, the bottom line is this… all good friendships simply come back to you. Only the gospel gives us the kinds of friendship for which we long for—for which we have been made. Search our hearts right now for friends that we may need to get rid of and friends that we should pursue.
We praise you for calling us and making us your friend—for this life and the life to come. May we increasingly offer one another a taste of the friendship we only have in you. We pray all these things in the name that’s above all other names, the name of Jesus Christ we pray.