TITLE: Bobby's Pit
By Kathy Davidson
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Sometimes the children we see as educators include not just those precious ones under our charge who are chronologically immature. Many times as teachers we are confronted with children in more mature bodies, moms, dads, colleagues, and staff employees who as the Apostle Paul referred to as having not yet matured to “put away childish things.” In fact all of us it we lay ourselves totally honest before the Lord have been guilty at times to reverting back to childish behavior to handle the circumstances and situations that life hands us on the planet.
Being called to a leadership role in the lives of children carries an awesome experience with serious responsibility. It is an up and down rollercoaster of events that leaves one exhausted, fatigued, in exhilarating success, or worn down with the sadness of frustration, missed opportunity and sometimes even defeat.
Such is the case of Bobby, a carnival ride of ups and downs that grieved the spirit and tried the soul. No doubt Bobby has gifts. He is open, friendly, extremely personable, teens and tweens love his enthusiasm for life, his love of all sports, and his positive attitude toward his “kids”. If there was a competitive “tiddly winks” game, Bobby would love it, play it, and cheer lead for it. Bobby is a fan, a coach, all out in whatever he does and that includes drugs, crack to be specific.
Bobby had his first hit of crack in high school. His parents had all four of their children in a Christian school. His dad is a pastor and gave his spare time to coach sports at the school. His mom, a professionally trained secretary gave up her job, to teach in the kindergarten at the school to be with her children. In a family of four kids the money was tight, but Bobby’s parents kept their children’s education and family time more important and sacrificed higher paying jobs or larger congregations to be involved in their children’s lives. Bobby was “up”. He excelled in high school sports, he was the life of his class, and academically he was above average. His future was bright; Bobby was on his way “up”. But the community was full of drugs and users. Bobby’s impulsive personality had its way and Bobby jumped into the up and down life of the drug scene, his drug of choice, cocaine/crack.
Graduating from high school, Bobby’s drug use spiraled upward. His life became a series of lies, stolen property, and theft of his family’s trust. He stole money and possessions from his brothers and sister, and his parents. Unable to take the lies and the highs, Bobby’s parents practiced tough love and refused to let Bobby live in the family home.
The bright, loveable, star athlete became a street kid. He slept in his car until he lost it, doing street things to get his next hit. Bobby was down, although he thought he was only down until the next hit. At one point Bobby managed to get to California, where he hit rock bottom and called and begged to come home. His parents offered Teen Challenge. And Bobby went humbly and compliant. He completed the program and came out drug free. Bobby entered the army but was discharged for prior drug related charges he did not disclose before he enlisted. Back home, Bobby needed to work and he needed to be away from the community that ensnared him.
Bobby’s mom was my school’s high school math teacher by this time in Bobby’s life. Mrs. Potts the Headmaster of my school, wanted to give Bobby a chance. She told him that to stay drug free, he had to move from his community. In order to move, he needed a job and she and our football coach were willing to help him. Our football coach had some trailers and rental houses and he hired Bobby to work as a maintenance man. Mrs. Potts put Bobby to work announcing our home basketball games and the next year he helped with after school coaching of football and girl’s softball.
Everyone rejoiced; Bobby was on the road with several years of sobriety under his belt. He was great with the kids, and teachers rallied around Bobby encouraging him to go to college and get his teacher’s certificate.
Then the subtle changes came, he began to talk incessantly and fast. He paced and when asked what was wrong, he became paranoid that people were out to get him. Bobby’s mother knew the signs. Bobby had to have drug test she told Mrs. Potts to be sure for Bobby’s reputation and the schools’. Bobby went off; we didn’t trust him, believe him, wouldn’t forgive or forget his past. Mom knew that Bobby was building his case to use again. And then one morning, he didn’t show up. We called, he said he was sick, we visited, and he wouldn’t let anyone in his apartment. And we prayed with a brokenhearted mother and father, anxious brothers and a sister.
How could this happen? Why did this happen? Up and down, Bobby had fallen in the pit of drugs, climbed out to stand on the solid ground of God’s Word, but he looked back and he looked down, and fell right back into the pit. Satan lined Bobby’s path with the potholes of drugs and he jumped in and fell to the very bottom.
The devil digs pits for us all. We fall, jump in, or are thrown into his pits by the circumstances, choices, or situations of life. And in the end it is the power of evil in that person of Satan that lines are paths like Bobby’s. As travelers of the human race, burdened with sin we do not have to carry, temptation we can find help to fight, the road we walk to our final destination, death. Some walk around, soar above, or tiptoe by the potholes, the pits redeemed by Jesus. We can condemn ourselves to climb on all fours from one pit to another or like crabs in crab boil scratch and claw over dirt and grime and each other only to be pulled back down to the bottom with the rest of the pit bottom dwellers.
Point your finger at his parents, Bobby’s pit, was he born into it? No, you could not find more loving, caring parents than Bobby’s parents. Parents that loved Bobby enough not to enable him to use drugs, but show him tough love by refusing to allow his drug use in their home.
Point your finger at his neighborhood, Bobby’s pit did he slipped was he pulled into it? “Bad company corrupts good character”, a lesson for us all. Be careful we allow into our lives, for the pit can be carried and thrown before our paths by the “friends” we associate and embrace.
Point your finger at Bobby and say he jumped in. Can’t we all relate to Bobby? We think we can handle it, a little weed, and one night of drinking, a pack of smokes, and a peek at the porn site. We’re tough, we’re not stupid, we can watch, drink, smoke, swallow, snort, and walk away. The bullet may be in the chamber, but we can get away with pulling the trigger!
And we say, dear Father, what a waste of talent, ability, of Bobby! In I Peter 5: 8, Peter warns, “Be sober, Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for anyone he can devour.” Not one of us is immune, not one of us strong enough, like Bobby the talented, the gifted, the lovable, all are targets for Satan who wants to use, abuse, trip you, or throw you into his lions pit.
Remember Bobby and let his life’s mistakes speak to you. The world’s offerings only lead to a pit where the lion dwells. Keep your feet standing on Him, a sure and solid foundation. Let His voice be the one you listen to as he causes the “steps of a righteous man to be ordered” along this life of potholes and pits. His Life is the only Life!
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 KJV
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