They did not recall whose idea it was to throw rocks at the cars as they drove by. Nor did they recall why no one was opposed to such an awful idea.
As they waited their turn, however, the boys wished desperately that someone had said something. If there had been one lone voice of reason, one voice in the wilderness, maybe they wouldn’t be in trouble. But that had not been the case on that fateful day.
There were three of them huddled inside the ditch, each wearing the uniform of the day of blue jeans, tee shirt (either plain or striped) and tennis shoes.
They went over the plan once more. It went something like this. We wait here hunkered down in this ditch.
Once a car drives by, we jump up and throw rocks at the car.
They all agreed with the plan. At the time, they didn’t know about the scripture, “My son if sinners entice you consent thou not.”
The mere thought that this plan could backfire never entered their little minds.
They sat with their muscles drawn tight and rocks in their hands. As they waited, they tossed the rocks up and down, catching them and feeling the weight of the rocks in their hands. The rocks felt right and felt good. They sat in silence and waited for their opportunity to strike.
It was not long before they heard rubber against the road.
“Shhh,” whispered no one in particular. “On three. One, two and three. Throw now!”
They heard rocks hitting metal, followed by the sound of broken glass. They watched in horror as the car suddenly came to a halt. Their laughter came to a halt as well.
As a man exited the car and walked toward the ditch, they quickly tossed their extra rocks aside. Perhaps they thought he would be too dumb to realize they threw the first rocks. They also returned to their original hidden position.
None of this strategy worked.
“You boys come on out of that ditch,” the man commanded.
The boys did as they were told.
“Now get into the car.”
As the boys walked toward the man’s car they got a closer look at their handy work. This was trouble.
They assumed the man would take them home, but instead he took them to his house.
His name was Mr. Jones, a man in their neighborhood.
Once inside the house, they stood and listen to him lecture them about error of their ways. They watched as his belt reversed around his waist like a retreating serpent.
This time one of them spoke up.
“Hey, you can’t whip us! You have to tell our dads,” said Reggie.
Reggie’s word fell on deaf ears. He saw that Mr. Jones had no intention of letting their dads handle this matter, at least not at the moment.
One by one, Mr. Jones whipped each boy. Mr. Jones did know scripture, which he was applying at that very moment – “The rod of correction will drive the foolishness out of a child.”
With each strike of the belt, the boys became wiser and wiser. By the time Mr. Jones finished his whipping, they were certain they would never be foolish again.
They did, however, hold onto one foolish thought – wait till our dads’ find out that Mr. Jones whipped us.
Mr. Jones put his belt back around his waist and drove the boys home.
It turned out that their dads didn’t think they were wise enough, because after shaking hands with Mr. Jones, each dad tried to make the boys wiser still.