It was the smell of their mother’s cooking that made the boys come inside.
Their senses were confirmed when they entered the kitchen and there sitting in the center of the table were mom’s teacakes. They licked their lips and widen their eye as they continued to take in the sights and smells of the kitchen.
“Mom can we have some cookies?” asked Carl, the eldest and the spokesperson.
“No, “ mom replied almost without hesitation.
The brothers were dejected. They did not like her answer, but her word was law and to debate it would take them to a place where they did not want to go.
They turned and walked away. Edward, the younger brother, followed Carl as they walked to their room. Without saying a word, Carl opened a handkerchief started placing what few items he owned inside it.
“What are you doing?” Edward asked.
“Mom will not let us have any teacakes, so we are running away.” Carl replied.
Ever the dutiful younger brother, Edward pulled out his handkerchief and started packing what few items he owned. They tied the handkerchief to a pole, threw it over their shoulders and left the house
The brothers walked and walked. The further they walked, the darker it became. Carl had not considered this possibility. With Carl in charge, neither had Edward.
They walked past Mr. Brown’s farm. They had once borrowed Mr. Brown’s high stepping horse, only to discover the reason it stepped so high was because it was blind. They could laugh about it now, but the spanking they got from their dad hadn’t been very funny.
When they reached the water, they used a fallen tree to cross the creek. The darkness grew. Somewhere in the distance they heard an owl and their steps slowed a bit.
“What was that?” asked Edward with traces of fear in his voice.
“An owl,” replied Carl.
It wasn’t long before the frogs and the crickets started as well. Edward grew quieter and worried with each new sound from the darkness. Carl tried to be brave, but the night sounds were causing his courage to fade. Perhaps he could accept mom’s answer after all. New and strange creatures interrupted his thoughts. As the sounds grew and his answers to his younger brother became fewer, Carl knew it was time to turn around and go home. Carl needed an out, so he made a big deal of letting Edward know that if it were not for his fear he would run away for good, but since Edward was so afraid he might as well take him back home.
The return trip home was quick as their feet once again found determination and purpose. For the second time that evening, they burst into the house. Their mom heard them enter and called out to them from the kitchen.
“You boys wash up and come on in here for dinner.”
Suddenly they were starving, with hunger now replacing fear. They dropped their poles and ran into the kitchen. After dinner, they were allowed to have some teacakes.
“The reason I said “no” earlier I didn’t want you boys to ruin your appetites,” their mother explained.
That incident actually happened to my grandfather when he was a boy, but it has happened to me many times as a Christian. I have made my request to God.
If I did not like his answer, in my immaturity I handled things like a little kid.
I’ve gotten mad, quiet or just walked away. In each case God has used the error of my ways to correct me and get me back on his desired path. He did it with Jonah, Job, King David and the children of Israel, just to name a few.
There is a poster hanging in the lobby of Gadsden’s Baptist Church Family Life Center. It depicts a picture of a wooded trail and the caption reads, “Whenever I get on the wrong path, the still small voice of God says, “Not that way my child, walk this way.”