They were just out for a good time. Cruising around, as teenagers have done since the invention of the car, with "no particular place to go." Two boys and a girl with only fun on their minds.
One of them got the idea that it would be fun to take down a stop sign. Stop signs, along with rural mailboxes, seem to be a popular means of entertainment for a few young people. Some shoot holes in them, some bend them over, others turn them around to face the other direction. These three decided to remove them completely.
It worked! They were enjoying themselves immensely. As a matter of fact, they derived so much pleasure from it that they removed 18 more that night. What fun! A good time was had by all!
All did not have a good time. You see, later that night three more teenagers, three boys who had gone bowling, came to one of the intersections where the stop sign had been removed. Seeing no reason to stop, the young driver proceeded across the crossroad. Their car was broadsided by a large truck. The three boys were killed instantly. A good time, a lark, a silly prank had cost three innocent lives. What is a "good time" worth? Is it worth three lives? But the story is not over.
The three teens who removed those signs were arrested, tried and convicted on manslaughter charges. The judge determined there was no intent on their parts to kill anyone so he was lenient on them. They each were sentenced to 15 years in prison. In Florida, a convicted felon has to serve at least 85% of his sentence. In the case of these young people that amounts to 13 years. What is a "good time" worth? Well, in this instance the cost is now up to three lives and at least 39 years in prison.
We haven't even mentioned the parents. In essence, six sets of parents have lost children -- three to prison and three to death. The tearful remorse of the three guilty teens was little comfort to them. "I'm sorry" and "I didn't mean any harm" is little solace when such harmful consequences are the harsh reality of thoughtless actions. All for a "good time?" What is a "good time" worth?
Young people, youth is a time to be enjoyed. But please think before you act. Realize the tragic consequences that can follow thoughtless and, pardon the plainness of speech, stupid actions.
Before you do anything, even if it is for a "good time," think of what it might cost you and others.
The God of heaven also realizes that youth is to be enjoyed. As a matter of fact, He encourages you to enjoy it. In Ecclesiastes 11:9 He says, "Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth."
Yes, youth is to be a happy, carefree time that you can enjoy before the difficulties, problems and obligations of adult life begin to mount up. But there is a difference between "carefree" and "careless." Youth is not a time for foolish and reckless behavior.
God continues in Ecclesiastes 11 by saying to the young, "Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment" (Eccl. 11:9). Please understand, that a "good time" that causes you to do things contrary to the will of God can cost you your eternal soul.
Young people, all people, ask yourself before you thoughtlessly do something just for a "good time," "What will this cost me?" "What will it cost others?" "Will it make me live the rest of my life with regret and shame?" "Could it cost me my soul?"
What is a "good time" worth? Please think about it.