Recently in the news we learned of a 17 year old boy so eager to own an ipod and ipad he was willing to sell one of his organs to get them. Through an internet chat room he arranged to sell one of his kidneys for the equivalent of $3500 and underwent major surgery without telling his parents.
In China where he lives, organs are highly prized and going like hot cakes through a well organized black market. Wang’s kidney sold for $32,000, and most of that money went to pay off a gambling debt. I’d say the biggest gamble was buying a youth’s kidney and hoping not to get caught. All 5 people involved are under arrest for illegal organ trading and unintentional injury.
As for Wang, he recuperated in the beginning without too much trouble, and his mother was none the wiser until she saw him working with his new Apple products. When she quizzed him about his money source, he ‘fessed up. Today, one year after his surgery, Wang is struggling with kidney failure and overall poor health. His prognosis isn’t known.
Young people aren’t the only ones who make bad decisions. All of us occasionally succumb to our emotions and choose poorly, usually bringing a heap of misery on ourselves in the process. If we wrote down all the cause-and-effect relationships in Scripture, the list would be as long as toilet paper off a roll. But ignorance is bliss, and often we’d rather not know. That kind of bliss can be costly.
Sometimes God saves us from our own foolish choices, but other times not. When he decides to let us take care of our own risk management, he does it with our eventual good in mind. I can imagine him smiling at the complicated messes we make, knowing that when it’s finally all been cleaned up, we won’t soon forget what we learned through pain and suffering.
When Nate and I were poor newlyweds and he was still in law school, the local blood bank paid $25 for a donated pint. We were in there as often as allowed, usually signing up to give again before the compulsory 6 weeks between donations had elapsed. If we’d seen an ad for kidney purchase, we probably would have signed up for that, too.
In Proverbs 12 we read, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.” With hindsight being 20/20, we all know the truth of that. But foresight? That’s a little harder to come by.
And besides, it always seems like such a good idea at the time.
“Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” (Ephesians 5:17)