The UnHappy Meal Incident

“A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the LORD.”

Proverbs 19:3 (NIV)

One of my favorite summertime memories as a child was getting to spend a week with my Granny at her house – getting to have her all to myself and being away from home for several days. One summer, though, I shared her with my younger cousin Casey for the week. Casey is 10 years younger than me and this particular year he was two or three years old. If ever there was a definition for a bouncing baby boy, he was it. I laughed so hard over his antics that week that my face hurt, especially over something I refer to as the “UnHappy Meal Incident.”

Granny had taken us through the McDonald’s drive-through for Happy Meals, and as usual, Casey was bouncing around next to me in the back seat of my granny’s tan 1975 Chevelle Malibu. Keep in mind this was the early 1980s and wearing seatbelts wasn’t strictly enforced yet. And, Happy Meals didn’t come in sacks then but these cool boxes with handles that looked like the Golden Arches.

While Casey was bouncing up and down, he was also tossing his Happy Meal box into the air and catching it … that is, until Granny slammed on the brakes to avoid running through a stop sign. Casey’s Happy Meal, in the air at the time of the stop, landed behind him as we flew forward. Then, as we settled back into our seats, down he went on his Happy Meal. In a split second he pulled the squashed box up and, with all his toddler might, thrust it toward the front seat, shouting, “Granny, look what you made me do!!” Our exasperated Granny simply replied, “Casey!”

Have you ever done something foolish and blamed the consequences of your unwise actions on someone else? It’s so easy to pass the buck, isn’t it? Even more, have you ever blamed God when you suffered because of your own folly? Proverbs 19:3 explains to us that even when we cause our own ruin, our human nature is quick to blame God.

How can we learn to own our folly and not pass on the blame? We should remember:

  1. God is the giver of all good things. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17, NIV).
  2. We are responsible for our own actions. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8, NIV).
  3. We need to daily confess our sins to the Lord. “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13, NIV).

When we choose to engage in folly, we will ultimately suffer the consequences, and the fault will be ours. However, when we confess our sins to God, he is faithful to forgive and we can find restoration (1 John 1:9).

Going back to the Happy Meal story, my cousin Casey still enjoyed his fries even though they were strewn across the back seat, and we still had plenty of fun that day. However, I don’t think we went to McDonald’s again that week!

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