The Joey Chronicles – Jude / “No More Falling Down!”
When Pastor John was growing up he had an imaginary friend named Joey.
These are growing up stories told from Joey’s point of view!
“With friends like these, who needs enemies?” Joey thought to himself as he picked himself up off the hot sidewalk and rubbed the angry red scrape on his knee.
“Yee haw – that was a good one Baker! Are you OK?”
Scotty Reimer rode his bike around the embankment and stopped at the bottom of the stairs. “I didn’t think you would really do it. Man, you got more than halfway before crashing and burning!”
Scotty had promised Joey that he would give him five of his brand new baseball cards if he would ride his bike down the stairs at their grade school.
These weren’t just any stairs.
They were about six feet long and with steel railings and surrounded by ivy. There were over 20 of them dropping from the upper schoolyard and buildings to the lower campus and the baseball fields.
Joey and Scotty had been looking at these stairs for weeks trying to see who would be the first to hurtle downwards to the breezeway and parking lot below.
It was a quiet Saturday afternoon in early May when Joey finally said, “Enough talking. I’m going to do this thing.”
Joey’s bike poised on the top step as he looked around to see if anybody was coming. He nervously adjusted the chinstrap of his helmet, pushed his glasses up on his nose and felt the jolt as his tires hit the first step.
And the second.
And the third.
He was going faster now and his handlebars were jerking in his hands as he tried to keep his balance.
And the fourth.
And the fifth.
It happened on the ninth step.
Joey was going too fast and the ninth bump jerked the handlebars from his hands. The bike turned sideways in the air and Joey flew off into the steel railing and back onto the steps where he lay trying to catch his breath and listening to the spinning front wheel of his bike near his motionless legs.
“What did I do that for?” Joey thought. He didn’t really know – he just did it.
Scotty walked up the steps and said, “Remember I said you had to go all the way before you got my baseball cards!"
Joey looked at him and nodded while he went to pick up his bike.
He was beginning to realize that friends like Scotty weren’t going to keep him from getting hurt or getting in trouble – they were going to give Joey a lifetime of scraped knees, bruised egos and guilty consciences.
That’s why he was glad that Jesus had promised to protect him and to help him make wise decisions.
If he was willing to listen.
If he was willing to obey what Jesus said.
In the book of Jude it says this:
“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.’ – vss. 24,25
“I’m not going to do that again!” Joey said to Scotty. “I’m just glad I didn’t break something.”
Scotty grinned and said, “I know a place where there is a ditch with a board running across it – I bet you could do that no sweat. It’s only about ten feet deep and the board is..
Joey closed his eyes and quietly said, “Help me Jesus – no more falling, please…”
There are all kinds of falling we can do if we aren’t listening and obeying Jesus. What are some of the ways we can fall that don’t involve a bike?
And is it true that we always have more joy when we are listening and obeying Jesus instead of falling?