When I was a little boy my father told me a story about stealing watermelon from a local farm when he was a teenager.
He said ,” We used to run into a neighbors watermelon patch and each one of would snatch as big a melon as we could handle and run like our hair was on fire!”
He then told me that he and his friends
would take the stolen melons and put them in the local river until they were cold .
He then made a statement that made a huge impression on my young mind…
“Stolen watermelon is the sweetest!”
My father was not always a good man but he loved me with his whole heart,but his attitude infected my young mind. For after this I thought stealing was okay, and this set the tone for much of my life.
Whenever my parents would send me to the store to buy something I believed it was alright to steal whatever I could on their list and pocket the money.
When I was 12 years old I got caught stealing, and was let go…but I had already spent some of the money.
So I came up with a plan.
The way I used to steal these items was to get a shopping bag then walk through the store putting the items my mom wanted in the bag . This last time a boxboy caught me stealing.
So I went and told my mom and dad that I had already paid for our groceries and hid them in the store. Then when I went to retrieve them a box boy took them away from me!
They were livid, thinking me an honest boy.
So we drove to Safeway…
They went to the manager and told him my story.
He called the box boy in and read him the riot act. Then the manager made him take me around to get all the groceries.
What audacity I had.
Needless to say this set a pattern for my life .I knew if I flew below the radar I
could get away with almost anything.
So consequently I burglarized every house in the neighborhood , only taking small things, and I never got caught!
Around that time I started smoking cigarettes ; of course I was stealing them.
My dad found out that I was smoking and figured it was best if I didn’t sneak around, so he let me smoke I in the house .
He the asked me how I was getting my cigarettes anyways?
Being a quick study , I told him that I had a friend who would steal cigarettes and give me a pack.
Then I had an epiphany!
I told my parents that my friend could steal their brand of cigarettes and sell them to them for half price.
Now I had a business in black market items… I never got caught stealing again.
When I turned 28 I had a bunch of problems, so I started reading the Bible.
My life was out of control…
Then one day I read a passage that would change my perspective on everything:
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart ( that is , the word of faith which we preach ): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10: 8 – 11).
I believed this truth instantly, and then and there the Holy Spirit filled my heart!
The Lord Jesus now has me on a mission ( Matthew 28:18-20)
I began reading the Bible through , and lo and behold I ran into a verse that brought me full circle:
“Stolen water is sweet, and bread eatten in secret is pleasant. But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Hell” (Proverbs 9:17-18).
My father was killed in a gunfight in 1972.
His life was a mess.
His words infected my life.
But the word set me free (John 8:32,36).
Now I know just how confused my dad was; but that does not discount his love for me.
Now I having a new Father, and He is in heaven (John 6:8-13).
In His love,
1 Corinthians 13:13
Categories: Eric Bushnell