November 14, 1969
Young people in their 20’s are living through the most exhilarating decade their lives will ever know. Some are graduating from college, traveling the world, choosing careers, entering the military. Others are getting married, having babies, buying homes, adapting to community life. Spiritual commitments are often made (or unmade) during this decade, and 20-somethings literally pass from childhood to adulthood.
Where should he apply for his first lawyer-job? Should we live in a big city? A suburb? A small town? Should we move to his home town? To mine? To a new part of the country? Where should I work? Or should I go back to school? Should we have children? If so, how many?
We were euphoric as we talked about our options. Life had no restrictions, and it seemed we could do anything we wanted. But this belief in unlimited choices, though typical of our age group, had its dangers. In our case it turned out to be too much gazing at the un-decided’s while ignoring one of the decided’s.
It was Friday evening, and Nate and I enjoyed a glass of wine celebrating the many happy decisions ahead of us. Before we knew it, it was 2:00 AM – and then past 3:00. We began to rationalize how practical it would be for Nate to stay in the apartment till breakfast, only a few hours away.
Though we had a rule against him spending the night, most of the night had already passed. Besides, we’d stuck with our decision to remain sexually pure through lots of tempting moments. So we decided he could stay – promising each other we’d “be good.”
But that’s the thing about temptation. The devil whispers a mix of truth and lies into our ears, and before long we’ve stepped over a line we were determined not to cross.
With our inhibitions down because of the wine, our hugging and kissing started to get out of hand. Nate began whispering, “I probably shouldn’t stay.” I responded, “You probably should go.” But neither of us had the will power to pull apart. That’s when something very strange happened.
God has promised to provide an escape hatch when we’re having trouble resisting temptation, and on that Friday, Nate and I were having trouble. Right then, God delivered.
Out of nowhere I heard a car door slam down on the street, and a vivid picture popped into my muzzy mind: Mom…. arriving for a surprise visit.
Logic would say, “Impossible! It’s after 3:00 AM!” But Mom had pulled some pretty crazy stunts in her time. I sat bolt upright and said, “Quick! Grab your shoes and run for the back door! I think Mom’s here!”
“What?” he said in his confusion as he rolled off the Murphy bed and did what I asked. When I heard the back door close behind him, I knew he was headed for his car and his rented room.
I lay there quietly in the dark, waiting to hear Mom’s tap on the front door…. but it never came.
In a few hours, Nate returned for breakfast. Both of us agreed we’d had a close call – and were thankful for God’s odd but effective “way of escape.” Feeling humbled, we again determined to save our first sex for our wedding night – only 15 days away.
“There’s a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” (Ecclesiastes 3:5)