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When I was a young girl, my family lived on the campus of a boarding high school, where my father taught religion. The elementary school and church I attended were on campus, so basically that was where I spent most of my time. A train track ran beside campus and that defined the border between my life and the “real” world, of which I was always curious. I had the whole campus as a playground but had been warned not to leave it.

There was a small candy shop up the road. Not only was it a bit too far for a young girl such as myself to go on my own, but it was also off campus. The problem was I could see the candy shop from campus and was so tempted to sneak off and visit it. I remember my mother telling me never to go to that shop alone, and especially without an adult since I would have to cross a busy road. But one afternoon, curiosity go the best of some friends and I and together we conspired to go. Pedaling our bikes as fast as we could we headed straight for the candy shop (hopeful that our speed would prevent anyone from seeing us).

Once inside, our eyes were wide with excitement as we looked at all the rows of brightly wrapped candies; gumballs, taffy, jellybeans and candy bars to only mention a few. We gave what little change we had to buy a piece of candy, and got on our bikes and pedaled even faster to get home and hide the evidence. When I finally ate that piece of candy, I remember it didn’t taste nearly as good as it could have. I felt too guilty! I had disobeyed my mother. I also wondered, “What if a car crossing the busy road had hit us?”

A Lesson Learned

Sometimes there are temptations that get the best of our curiosity. We know God’s opinion but decide to follow on with our curiosity. Later we realize that it wasn’t as fun as we thought it might be. In fact we feel guilty for not listening and obeying. Or worse yet, maybe we even get hurt. God loves us and cares about us, and when we step outside of His care, He worries about our safety—just like my mother. I learned a valuable lesson about the guilt that follows disobedience, and am thankful that both God and my mother continued to love me unconditionally.

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By Erika Gladden. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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