It didn't take long during my childhood to learn the importance of not lying to my parents.
During my teen years, I proudly declared time and time again that I had only ever lied to my mother once.
That was a lie.
It was actually twice, but I'll get to that in a minute.*
*Note: Of course, these lying records do not include omissions, conversations that end without answers, or long pauses that caused mom or dad to forget what they had asked in the first place.
For my first lie, I was eight-years-old and my mother had declared the Christmas candy off limits. Being the chocolate fiend that I am, the Reese's peanut butter cups wrapped in silver, red, and green foil were literally calling my name, taunting me to reach into the candy jar and eat them. Naturally, I gave into my fleshly urges and sunk my teeth into milk chocolate peanut butter delight.
I had barely swallowed my sweet disobedience when I came face to face with my mother.
When she asked if I had eaten any candy, I could only assume in that moment that my mom and God must be pretty tight. I figured she had a supernatural connection that ensured she would know if I ever lied to her.
If only I had the brains then to realize the lingering smell of chocolate and peanut butter that just one tiny Reese's can leave on one's breath.
My final lie involved a BB gun, a bird, and it is not for the faint of heart.*
*Translation: It isn't for those who are against hunting.
I was twelve years old. My dad had just given me my first "firearm": a BB gun. We set up soda cans in our yard to use as targets. I was hitting barely half of what I shot at, while my father and brother managed to hit everything they aimed for. When I finally had the BB gun back in my hands, I knelt down on the ground and purposed inside me that I was going to hit something. As fate would have it, at that precise moment a blackbird appeared on the ground near our targets. I took aim, breathed in deeply and pulled the trigger back as I slowly released my breath.
A squawk and ruffle of feathers later and I was frozen in place on the ground, jaw dropped down to the BB gun still in my hands. My family suddenly stopped all conversation and tilted their heads towards my kill.
It was as easy as point and shoot, yet I still couldn't believe that after hitting hardly anything all day I had actually hit the first thing I really aimed for. Part of me wanted to proudly declare that I had hit that black bird and I had hit it on purpose. I had aimed, I had focused, and I had conquered. But then, in the midst of a growing moral dilemma, my parents began comforting me on my 'accidental' hit. The other part of me then came to light.
Not wanting to seem heartless, cruel, or, frankly, a murderer, I agreed with their sympathy. I told them that I had just been shooting at the ground and somehow that bird had wandered in front of my random, aimless shooting.
And they believed me. For a long long time. Until I finally decided to come clean because the guilt of what I had done weighed too heavily on me (--that or I finally wanted the credit for killing that bird).
So what is the moral of this post? Because I certainly do like a good moral.
Here it is...
Sometimes you'll lie and you'll get caught.
Other times, you'll get away with murder.