Our youth now love luxury … they have bad manners and contempt for authority. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers. (Socrates)
Leslie’s future looked bright. She was a straight “A” student and pretty. But at age sixteen, for no apparent reason, she began shoplifting from department stores. She was arrested and her parents, Methodist ministers, were devastated. Shortly after her arrest, she was caught skipping school and continued to get into trouble.
Things piled up, one after the other, so to escape her problems, she ran away. It was dark outside at three in the morning when Leslie crawled out of her bedroom window in Lakeland, Florida, and began hitchhiking to California. She probably didn’t plan on being attacked twice and almost raped by some pervert with a butcher knife but she was not deterred from her destination—California. A nice family picked her up in Texas and gave her a ride all the way to Palm Springs.
These good people, seeking to help the young teen, allowed Leslie to stay with them. But she wanted to party and experience the wild side of life on the West Coast. She began abusing drugs and moved into her first apartment with a man she later married. In just a few years, this once upon a time, naive little good girl’s life was reduced to broken relationships and chemical dependency.
Leslie reached her wits end and began searching for truth. She joined a Jehovah Witness church but didn’t find what she was seeking from them. Her father was diagnosed with cancer and soon thereafter died. At his funeral she began to reflect back and remembered an event that occurred when she was thirteen. She, with tears streaming down her face, accepted Christ as her savior. Once again, while standing at her father’s casket, she realized her need for Jesus. Leslie began attending church and became consumed with a desire to help young people cope with their problems.
This change was nothing short of a miracle. She and her husband, Bobby began working with the youth at their church. After serving as a children’s pastor for fifteen years she left that position and began working with delinquent girls at a group home. She also went back to school and became a registered nurse, continuing to prioritize her passion for helping hurting people. Leslie learned that running away from problems will never make you free.
Robert Louis Stevenson, “You cannot run away from a weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so; why not now where you stand.” Follow Leslie’s example and begin your journey of faith. Walk with God; His footprints are everywhere. The skies display His craftsmanship and the heavens His glory. He is near to all who call upon Him; to all who call on Him in truth.