Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 12:17AM
Diane L. Harris in Morgan Harrington, Virginia Tech student, Word of God, kidnapped, obedience, wisdom

Wide-eyed Morgan Harrington, a Virginia Tech education major, went missing exactly one month ago after becoming separated from her friends at a Metallica concert in Charlottesville, Virginia. No one seems to know for sure how she wound up outside the concert arena after getting up to go to the ladies' room before Metallica even came onstage. She was denied reentry to the arena, in accordance with the rules, and phoned her friends to say she'd find her own way home. To the distress of her family, friends, and many others, the pretty blonde college junior hasn't been seen since--at least not by anyone who knows her--though her cell phone and purse were found in a Charlottesville parking lot by a passerby.

As I read the story of missing Morgan over the weekend, and wondered how Morgan's parents felt when they heard the latest police speculation that their daughter may have been hitchhiking after leaving the University of Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena, trying to get a ride with a stranger back to the Virginia Tech campus. They have said they find it hard to believe she'd do that. I assume they taught her not to take such chances, and she knew to take their advice.

However, we all do things--especially in our often adventurous and blind young adulthood, and most especially when we first get the opportunity to live away from our families--that would surprise those who knew us in our more obedient days of childhood. If we get away with taking our youthful chances, even the memories may surprise us later in life. I realize now, but certainly did not know 30-some years ago that having survived my own semi-innocent exuberance is a miracle.

As a Christian, I have sometimes foolishly taken the chance that ignoring God's commands "just this once" will be okay.

"God knows my heart," I've said. "Everything will be okay."

For weeks at a time, and longer, I have ignored God's command to study His word so that my thoughts will be in tune with His. I have watched what I wanted to watch on TV, knowing it's not pleasing to my Lord and indulged angry or fantastic thoughts that go against His teaching.

Then I have had the nerve to not understand why I have wound up feeling so distant from God at times. Well, I have wandered away, disobeyed, and left myself vulnerable to Satan's attempt to kidnap me and keep me away from my Father.

I pray that God gives me sufficient wisdom not to repeat those past painful mistakes of mine.

I pray also that young Morgan is found and lives to look back in gratitude for wisdom gained and not in regret. God bless her and her family.

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