Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Twenty-four Boys

In the children’s classic, Alice in Wonderland, Alice is intrigued by a beautiful cottage and runs toward it but the more she runs, the farther it slips away. It is only when she gives up and turns to walk in the opposite direction, that she suddenly finds it is right in front of her.
Lewis Carroll is satirically depicting man’s tendency to strive for what they what they want by going about it the wrong way.

In our complex there is a man who is a self-proclaimed atheist. He tells anyone who will listen that he will never allow anyone…God or man… to take away his freedom of choice by telling him what to do.
How sad he cannot see that he is not walking toward freedom but away from it. There is only one way to be free. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed!”
(John 8:36)

God has given us instructions on how to live our earthly lives, not to make it difficult for us but because He knows what is good – not only so ‘that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God gives thee” (Duet. 5:16) but also that it may be well for us in the life to come.

In the late 1800’s in Glasgow, Scotland there lived 24 boys. Someone recognizing that these boys needed somewhere to expend their energy decided to start a youth club for their benefit. The Christian promoters of this club formulated the member requirements, one of which was that the boys abstain from drinking and gambling.
The 24 boys divided down the middle. Twelve joined the club, twelve did not.
Twelve agreed to abide by the club rules but the other twelve refused, sneering at the idea of a club rule curtailing their ability to have fun.

Years later one of the original 12 club members, The Right Honorable David Kirkwood, Member of Parliament (who died in 1955) went to considerable lengths to track down the lives of the other 23 boys with whom he had shared his childhood.
This is what he found.

The Twelve who Refused to let a club rule keep them from “having fun” were found to have ended their lives as follows:
1> Poisoned himself at thirty.
2> Found dead at thirty.
3> Committed suicide at thirty-one.
4> Disappeared at twenty-five.
5> Died in a mental home at thirty.
6> Drowned himself in the River Clyde at thirty-five.
7> Poisoned himself at thirty-two.
8> Wanted by police; fled the country.
9> Committed suicide in the River Clyde at thirty-five.
10> Committed suicide at thirty-six.
11< No information.

What a different list Kirkwood complied of the twelve who agree to abide by the rules.
1> Became manager of Beardmore’s Mills
2> Manager of a large engineering works.
3> Took over his father’s business.
4> Successful business career.
5> Engineer and prosperous.
6> Butcher’s errand boy; then became owner of the business
7> Foreman of large building firm.
8> High position in leather business.
9> Master builder.
10>Manager of important Glasgow firm.
11> Member of Parliament.
12> No information.

How soberingly true God’s word is, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” (Gal. 6:7)

“Oh God, I pray today for the people in our lives who are going in the wrong direction, searching for answers – searching for happiness where they will find none. Help them to see, O Lord, that only You have what they are looking for.
May they turn and recognize that Your love is pursuing them- not to take away their freedom - but to save them and set them free! ”

4 comments:

Lovella said...

What an amazing post. We've all seen the fruits both ways.

Choices are so important.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Demara said...

How right you are here Julie!!! It's amazing how some choices can direct you down the wrong path hey? And some on an unknown path and still others in total contentment...interesting thought provoking post!

love you
and thank-you for your faithfulness and support too!!!
You are a great friend~

Laura said...

Oh how true!! I have such a hard time trying to explain that to some of my friends and you put it so beautifully.