I graduated high school in 1970. Decades later, you can look at that statement as good or bad. Good that I’m still kicking. Bad because I’m not kicking as much as I was. But back to the story. I went on my first out of town trip, by myself, in my own little Ford Mustang, to visit a friend one weekend. I drove all the way to Ardmore, Oklahoma. The population in Ardmore in 1970 was 20,881. Not a metropolis by any means, which was probably why my parents gave me permission to go. What could go wrong in Ardmore, Oklahoma?
While my friend and I were not wild, party animals, we certainly wanted to stay up past midnight. We drove the downtown “strip” several times, cruised the Sonic, ate our share of burgers and fries, got invited to a few “parties,” then decided to head back to her house about 1:00 a.m. Ardmore was pretty dead by then.
I put my car in reverse, backed out of the parking space, and “BAM” hit the only other car anywhere in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I had a pretty big dent in my shiny turquoise Mustang. Oh, great! How do I get out of this one? What do I tell my dad when I get back home?
It takes two hours to drive from Ardmore, Oklahoma to Dallas, Texas. That was a miserable two hours. I was sweating bullets as I scripted what I would say to my dad and what he would say to me. I arrive home, park my car in the carport with the dented side away from view. And then … I didn’t say a word … not one word about it until the next day.
My dad, God bless him, saw the dent. He said, “How did your trip go? Did you enjoy yourself?” I told him it was great. He said, “Is there anything you want to tell me?” That’s it, I had been found out. I spilled the beans fast. Said I was sorry, told him what happened, swore I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Thankfully, the judge, in this case my dad, was lenient. He said, “I’m sure you didn’t do anything wrong. You will pay for the damage and repair and the cost of the other car, too. This will teach you there are consequences to your actions.” He said all this without raising his voice.
I’m not sure why this came to mind this weekend. Perhaps I’m hearing stories of “cover-ups” in the news. Perhaps I’m reading about David who tried to cover up his own transgressions until Nathan, the prophet, was sent to David by the Lord.
What I do know is this: It is far easier to own up to your mistakes than to cover them over.
Psalm 32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.