On May 22 in Cincinnati a 61-year-old bicyclist was killed by a driver who admitted to using heroin before getting behind the wheel, according to the Hamilton County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office. The young man, named Sickle, admitted that he “snorted dope” before driving. It reports he told police he had purchased $10 worth of heroin in downtown Cincinnati. He was charged with two felonies: fleeing the scene of a deadly automobile crash and aggravated vehicular homicide. Two lives ruined, one dead, because the 33-year-old made the wrong choice to do drugs and drive.
On March 29, 2017, a bus filled with a group of choir members from the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, a town about 35 miles northeast of San Antonio, Texas, was in a horrific car accident. They had just attended a three-day retreat and were heading back to the church when the unthinkable happened.
A young man driving a truck lost control and veered over into the wrong lane hitting the church bus head on. It was a horrific accident, as 13 people lost their lives that day.
20-year-old Jack Dillon Young admitted to texting while driving his truck—a decision he made that will affect the rest of his life and others forever.
Repeatedly we see warnings: “Don’t Text While Driving.” Here in Cincinnati the ads run continually. I am sure Jack Dillon wished he had heeded those warning—events would have turned out so differently.
Dillons’ home state of Texas is in the process of passing a bill that bans texting while driving. Texas, like many other states, has also had the signs along the road. They have run terrifying ads on television reminding drivers to put the cell phones down and keep their eyes on the road. Dillon’s story reminded me of a young man that I wrote about years ago, Kenny Isaacs.
In 1993, Kenny also ignored a warning sign. Instead of going the speed limit on the sign, he decided to go faster while going around a curve. Kenny lost control of his car and ended up going over an embankment. He was instantly killed. His family’s life was forever changed. My daughter and I attended the funeral, and it was horrible to see the faces of his grief-stricken parents.
God tells us to obey the laws of the land. Why? Jesus gives us the answer: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12 Matthew 7:12Therefore all things whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
American King James Version×).
Notice that when you obey the laws of the land it is not only good for you, but also good for those who could reap tragic consequences from you breaking the law. There are always innocent victims who suffer from our bad decisions that involve breaking a law, either God’s commandments or man’s laws (Romans 13:1-6 Romans 13:1-6 1 Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Will you then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath on him that does evil.
5 Why you must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually on this very thing.
American King James Version×).
“A complete stranger has the capacity to alter the life of another irrevocably. This domino effect has the capacity to change the course of an entire world. That is what life is; a chain reaction of individuals colliding with others and influencing their lives without realizing it. A decision that seems miniscule to you, may be monumental to the fate of the world.” ― J.D. Stroube, Caged by Damnation
Every decision that we make can have massive consequences. If that decision is good or bad, every decision will affect us in some way at some point.
Kenny and Jack and now Sickle are examples of that. They made what seemed to be a harmless decision that turned out to be horrific for so many. Their decisions cannot be taken back.
“There are some choices you can only make once. You can’t go back to where you made a choice and then take the other one.” ― Mary Hoffman, City of Flowers
Take great care to obey the laws of the land. In every decision, you make ask yourself if this will render good or bad consequences. Start with obeying God’s Ten Commandments first, which will encourage you to obey and respect the laws of the land.