86 °



You and I hear them, the stories of people who insist they are totally innocent of any wrongdoing. Yet they are definitely identified as being at the scene of the crime, in the company of the criminals.

How does that happen? Realistically, how often does a person just happen to find themselves in the wrong car, with the thief? Or accidentally standing with the bad guys in a convenience store that is being robbed? How often does a teen or an adult hang out with friends and are totally unaware of what they like to do, and where they enjoy going? They don’t, not very often.

So, how does it happen - accidentally being in the wrong place and time? “Hey, wait a sec, dudes. I thought we were headed to see a movie. Whaddya mean we’re just gonna ‘borrow’ this truck for a few hours? Oh, okay, I guess the owner won’t mind it being gone when he comes out of that bar.”

Or, “But officer, I swear, I thought me and my girlfriends were just hangin’ out here on the street corner, wearin’ our see-thru Daisy Dukes and flirtin’ with whoever walked by. That’s whut Jimmy told me we’re doin’. I don’t know nuthin’ about no prostitutin’ stuff!”

I’m not buying it.

An adult or teenager with reasonable intelligence and capabilities, who is with a group of friends, before very long at all can sense the values and intent of those around them. And usually, most of us will not deliberately choose to spend time with people who don’t “gee ‘n haw” with our own beliefs. Not much fun in that. The bald fact is, we most usually choose who we are with, what we do, and where we go.

Yeah, I remember trying that “But I’m just an innocent bystander” stuff – way back as a little kid. When Mom catches you with your hand in the cookie jar and crumbs on your face, that’s the first ploy a seven-year tries to use. “But, Mom, Donnie told me that you said we could have all we wanted today. It’s not my fault!” Me, my brother Donnie, and my mom all knew I was lying back then, and most people strongly suspect a lie when we hear it coming out of the mouth of The Innocent Victim today.

The wisest man who ever lived, according to the Bible, was King Solomon. And that man repeatedly warned his sons, “Be careful of the company you keep and what you are doing with them.” My modern wording of his caution to his sons.

Nick Saban, head coach of the University of Alabama football team is quoted as saying; “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Like my old Aunt Lucy said, “Anyone can hear a buncha’ red flags flyin’ all over the place on that one.”

You make choices.