Lessons from a Pocketknife

Last week I received this text, “Heading to the hospital for Dallas. He severed his finger with that stupid pocketknife.”

And yes, there is a story behind that one…

The day before, while I was mowing the lawn, unbeknownst to me, our four year old took off on his scooter. After crossing the alley and the street, Dallas noticed him and caught my attention when I saw him sprinting down the sidewalk. I turned off the mower and headed that way myself.

I gave Ian an hour timeout and told Dallas I would like to buy him a gift to thank him for watching out for and defending his brother.

After several hours of mental deliberation, Dallas told me that he would like a pocket knife.

So after soccer practice, he and I went to two stores to find him a knife. I took some time to educate Dallas regarding the responsibility of owning a pocket knife. I made sure he knew he could never take it to school or church and that he must be very careful when using it.

The next day he went over to his cousins house and Leigh-Ann told him to be sure to only show the pocketknife to his cousins and not to open the blade or use it.

Well, like our four year old, Dallas decided to push the boundaries and started whittling a stick…and then it happened…he sliced through the back of his thumb barely missing the bone and tendons and all the way thru half of his thumbnail.

His initial response was to attempt to hide the wound. This never really worked because the damage from his disobedience far bigger than he could have imagined.

After a full afternoon in the ER of two hospitals, multiple stitches and way more attention than even Dallas wanted, the thumb was bandaged and on the mend. And hopefully the lesson in obedience is intact.

This Sunday we continue our series on “Little foxes that spoil the vine” and will study from James 4:13-17 about failing to take steps of obedience.

When you and I fail to obey God, we may not need stitches, but we definitely will experience consequences. Dont forget, James 4:17 even applies to church attendance…”So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”