The Joey Chronicles – Path to Freedom / “Truth and Consequences”
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!
Joey’s Dad liked cars. He wasn’t one of those collectors that could afford to put ten beautiful cars in his garage to look at, but every couple of years he managed to come home with some new model.
One of Joey’s favorites was the Rambler Station Wagon that was their “home” on yearly trips to Disneyland. Joey’s grandparents lived ten miles from Disneyland so they always stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Thomas. Joey drank fresh limeade on hot summer afternoons, and spent at least one day with Mickey Mouse and friends before heading back to Oregon.
A Disneyland trip always started on Sunday evening after church. At 7:30 or so Joey and Kathy would get their pajamas on and climb into the back of that Rambler Station Wagon. Dad laid out sleeping bags and it was just like camping out. Joey and Kathy would fall asleep listening to the hum of the wheels heading south to California.
Joey and Kathy would always wake up to the same hum of the wheels but the air smelled different as the rising sun highlighted the palm trees at the Flamingo hotel where they stopped to rest.
Dad slept. Joey fidgeted until he could brave the hot sidewalk to the deliciously cool swimming pool.
The next morning they would climb back in the Rambler Station Wagon and finish the trip to sunny Los Angeles.
A few weeks after returning from vacation Joey rode his bike out of the garage, swerved to miss the frog on the driveway and scraped his handlebar down the side of that beautiful Rambler Wagon. 12 inches of fresh paint was missing and the steel gleamed accusingly at Joey as he stood there in shock.
Dad had always told him “Walk your bike down the driveway so you don’t hit the car. It’s too narrow to be riding as fast as you do.”
Joey had been in a hurry. The frog shouldn’t have been there. He hadn’t ridden his bike for a while and he forgot. Steve from next door was waiting for him to come over. All of these excuses were running through his mind but it all came back to “Walk your bike down the driveway…” and the fact he had disobeyed.
“Dad, could you come outside for a minute?”
“Can it wait Joey? I am pretty busy trying to fix the dishwasher.”
“But Dad, I need to show you something.”
Joey knew that he had lost control of his morning when he disobeyed Dad and scratched the beautiful Rambler.
And he was right about how his Dad would handle that scratch.
Not very well - he was really mad!
He wasn’t surprised when he was grounded for the rest of the day. After the shed tears and the time in his bedroom he and his Dad had walked outside and played catch. He had made a mistake and paid a price but he felt good that he had admitted it – he didn’t feel guilty anymore.
“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
We all sin – Jesus knows that. But He wants us to admit it and be able to go outside again and play catch with God the Father because we said we are sorry.
Plus, there were many more wonderful trips to take in that Rambler Station Wagon – the one with the shiny twelve-inch scratch on the side.