Tessy took one final look at her smiling reflection in the mirror before heading to the front door. The purple highlights in her blonde hair matched the low-cut crop top she wore over a black mini-skirt. Even though her seventeen-year-old body didn’t look like the girls on TV, she hoped her outfit would be enough to keep her new boyfriend’s eyes from wandering tonight. Steven was nineteen and could have any girl he wanted. Tonight, she wanted him to want her.
The deep voice of her father stopped her just steps from the front door. Sighing, she turned to face him. “What?”
“You’re not going out wearing – “
Tessy put her hand up. “I know what you’re going to say.”
“What was I going to say?”
“That you don’t like my what I’m wearing, that Steven is no good for me, and that I should spend tonight with you than to go to this party.”
Her father tilted his head. “If you know I disapprove, why are you doing it?”
“Because I like Steven. He’s not as bad as you think. And all the girls wear stuff like this. I wouldn’t fit in if I didn’t”
“I’m your father, not their’s. Fitting in is not what I’ve taught you. Dressing that way is not only indecent, but dangerous. You don’t know – “
Again, Tessy cut him off. “I’ll be fine. I appreciate your warning, but I don’t think it relevant. Maybe if I was younger or went to a bar or dressed like a hooker, but I’m just going to a party. There’s nothing wrong with what I’m doing.”
Without giving her father an opportunity to say anything else, she opened the door and slipped out.
Steven was just pulling up in the driveway. Waving to him, she hurried towards the car. Steven got out without looking at her and walked behind his car. He opened the trunk and reached inside.
Disappointed that he hadn’t greeted her but curious about what he was doing, she joined him at his trunk. Steven was pulling something out of a crate. She gasped as soon as she recognized the long, wiggling mass.
“Look what my friend gave me.” Steven looked over at her. “Don’t worry. It’s friendly. You want to hold it?”
Tessy backed away, shaking her head. “That’s okay.”
“Come on, don’t be a chicken.” Steven smiled as he held out the snake. “You’re going to love how sleek if feels.”
“Don’t touch it,” came a soft voice next to her.
Startled, Tessy turned to her father. “I didn’t know you have followed me.”
Steven’s loud voice drowned out whatever her father was going to say. “Come on, Baby, we don’t have all night.”
“Don’t touch it,” her father repeated.
But Tessy ignored him as she reached to touch the snake. Steven smiled as he handed it to her. Tessy returned his smile as she watched the snake coil and uncoil itself around her arm. It was colder than she expected, but just as smooth as Steven had promised.
Suddenly the snake writhed sharply. Startled, she dropped it, but not before its fangs grazed her arm. “Ow!”
“Hey!” Steven shouted. He lunged for the snake, grabbing its tail as it tried to disappear under the car. Pulling it out, he shoved it back in the crate. Then he turned on Tessy, “How could you drop it like that? It almost got away.”
“It bit me.” She held out her arm to him, but he turned away and slammed the trunk. Without looking at her, he headed back to the driver’s seat. “You coming or what?”
Turning to her father, Tessy said, “This is your fault. You were supposed to protect me.”
“I tried but you wouldn’t listen to me. You chose Steven’s word over mine.”
His words gripped her heart. “You’re right. I’m sorry. Will you take care of this for me? It really hurts.”
Putting his arm around her, he said, “Come back to the house with me.”
The car roared to life, making Tessy jump. She pulled away from her father. “I can’t right now, but just as soon as I get home, okay?” Without waiting for a response, she hurried to the passenger side and jumped in.
“Be back by ten,” her father called as he stepped out of the way.
Steven backed out and took off down the road, his tired screeching almost as loud as his engine. A few minutes later, they got to the highway and he turned to her. “Ten o’clock? Did he mean that?”
“Yeah, I guess so.” Tessy answered. “But don’t worry about it. Whatever time I get home will be okay. I’ll just apologize and he’ll forgive me. He always does.”
Steven put his free hand on her leg. “This is going to be a great night.”
Tessy covered his hand with her own. Relaxing back in her seat, she agreed. “It sure will.”
A son honors his father and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts…
God was speaking to the priests about offering blemished animals in their sacrifices to Him. But as I look around at Christians today, I wonder if He wouldn’t say the same thing to us? Do those of us who know Him and claim to follow Jesus really respect Him? Or do we take God for granted, relying on His love and mercy to cover our self-centered decisions? Do we fear Him as Abraham, Moses, David, and Paul did? Or are we arrogant because of our status as His children?
Let’s be courageous enough to pray like David did in Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
And to do like Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see if whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
Take care my brothers, lets there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called, “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Hebrews 3:7-14