Jan 20, 2009

What's the matter... Are you chicken?

In second grade, my friends dared me to walk up to Suzette Biasi and give her a kiss. "I double-dog dare you", they taunted. What they didn't know is that I liked Suzette and I was actually looking forward to giving in to their dare. I walked up to Suzette and planted one on her cheek. She yelled out "Oh Gross" and slugged me. I remember the teacher gave me detention.


Later, another set of friends dared me to jump off of my house. We had a staircase leading up to the sun roof. If you climbed up over the fence of the sun roof you could stand on the edge of the house. One day the neighborhood kids came over and dared me to jump. It was about eight feet to the grass below. I ended up jumping, but I was really sore and had nightmares for a month.


With all of the dares that I have followed, it's amazing I am still around. Peer pressure is a strong force and I have given in to this pressure on many occasions. As I got older I realized that acceptance by my peers wasn't all it was cracked up to be. That and my mother saying on more than one occasion, "If your friends jumped off a cliff..."  Been there. Done that.


I was reminded of this by a story out of Hammond, Indiana. It appears that a 10-year-old boy got his tongue stuck to a metal light pole. Police were notified Wednesday night about a boy who was stuck to a metal light pole. When they arrived, the boy had already pulled his tongue loose. When they asked how this happened, the fourth-grade boy told them that a friend dared him to lick the pole. Since temperatures in Hammond that night were around 10 degrees, that wasn't such a wise thing to do. The article said the police gave the mother instructions on how to care for a bleeding tongue. Ouch!


Why do we do such stupid things? I suppose we do these things to be accepted. The truth is, though, that even after I did these things, I didn't feel more accepted. I can't remember a single occasion when I followed a dare and my friends thought I was cooler afterwards. But that didn't stop me from doing some really, really, dumb things. Although I can safely say that I never got my tongue stuck to a pole. It was never cold enough. And I have never gone over Niagara Falls in a barrel. It's a good thing I didn't grow up in New York!


But there is One who never taunts us. We never have to follow a dare to earn His love. He loves us so much He gave His own life for us. And with Jesus by our side, we never have to worry about being accepted by anyone. His love is enough.




Pastor David Hook

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