I’ve been talking about repeat offenders and their journey on the “road to perdition.” That got me to thinking about something I heard Dr. Adrian Rogers say so many times; that a person starts off doing something wrong, then meanders down that “wrong road” until they reach their destiny. He was actually quoting an old saying when he would say "sow a deed, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny." You see this “destiny” is created by the individual. People usually start their life of crime with small stuff – telling “little” lies, stealing something from someone, and then they escalate to maybe shoplifting something. If they manage to get away with the lies and thefts, things can really spin out of control, because the successes embolden the would-be criminal. Laws start to look more like “suggestions.”
If we examine most “career criminals” track records we will see my assertion validated. Let’s take a look at this week’s “Thug of the Week” and see how he got started.
Willie Norfleet’s first known encounter with the justice system (from our available resources) shows him being first arrested on 2/19/1983, for public drunkenness and disturbing the peace. (I would be willing to bet that Willie had a juvenile record, but we don’t have access to that) Well, anyone can make a mistake, so Willie sowed a deed, but maybe he would change his behavior. Willie did manage to stay out of jail for over a month, but on 3/28/1983, he was once again arrested for disturbing the peace, but this time he got an assault and battery charge. (His deeds are quickly becoming habits). Willie rocks along for a little over two years before he is arrested again, this time again for disturbing the peace on 4/8/1985 and then again on 8/27/1985. Willie has now begun to reap a character and a year later, on 6/13/1986, Willie is arrested for assault and battery and larceny from a person. One hundred, twenty-six arrests later, Willie has done time for everything from public drunk to armed robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and several other offenses. He has pretty much cemented his destiny, hasn’t he?
I wonder what intervention could have changed Willie’s road. I’d be willing to bet he didn’t come from a two parent home. Willie, most likely, was learning life’s lessons from the people he ran around with. (Note to parents – THE NUMBER ONE FACTOR in how your child will turn out is who they associate with). If you love your kids, keep them away from the buzzards. Do whatever it takes to make sure they associate with eagles! Even if you do everything right, there are still no guarantees. Kids turn into adults and they are free to follow their own destiny. Some will turn out ok, others will fall prey to the dark side. Hold your kids close!