Since they were very young boys, Charlie, George and Cliff have enjoyed fishing together. They all can remember walking together along the dirt path to the small lake near their hometown.
Fishing was sometimes not about fishing at all, but about being together and becoming closer.
In high school, Charlie, George and Cliff remained good friends despite the fact that some guys don’t stay friends after they get older. When they could drive, they often borrowed their parents’ cars and drove fishing at a lake a little further away. The tradition was that when they did that, they would each choose a lake to fish in and wouldn’t tell the other two until they arrived.
With Cliff at the wheel, the car rumbled along the freeway. It was his turn to surprise his lifelong friends. “This fishing trip will be truly unique. Truly unique.” He said as they stepped out of the driveway. When he said that, he laughed a strange laugh.
While riding along, Charlie and George listened to old-time songs on the radio. However, they became lost because they did not know where they were or where Cliff was taking them. From the passenger seat, Charlie poked George, who was sitting in front of Cliff, and asked him, “Hey Cliffy boy, do you know where we are?”
“Oh I know, trust me, I know very well where we are heading and what we will find when we get there.” Both of his pals just stared at Cliff when he said that because he said it in a very spooky way. Finally, Cliff turned the car off the main road and started up a country road and then off it onto a dirt road.
As a result, they were sure they must be close to this mysterious fishing spot. But then, just before they topped a very tall hill, Cliff pulled over to the side of the road, stopped the car and got out.
“What’s up Cliff?” George said getting out with Charlie right behind him. “This can’t be the place can it?”
“It’s the place.” Cliff said staring at the top of that big hill.
“But Cliff, I was looking at the map and there isn’t a lake anywhere near here. Charlie asked puzzled,
“What’s going on?”.
“Well, first we are gonna have to cross that hill. But we aren’t taking the car, we are planning to walk.” Cliff said mysteriously.
“Should we take our rods and tackle?” George asked.
“Nope, we won’t need them.” Cliff grinned as he said, “Not for what we will find over that hill.”
“OK, I have about had it with all the mystery Cliff.” Said Charlie angrily. “What are we expecting to find on the other side of that hill?”
“God.” Was the one word answer.
“God?” both friends questioned.
“Yep, God.” was the answer.
“Just over that hill. God is there. And what is He doing there?” George continued.
“Waiting for us. It’s our time. When we walk over that hill, we all meet God. Not in a Sunday school way.
We will see him, hear him and meet him face to face. God. Just over that hill. Let’s go.” And Cliff turned to walk up to the top of the hill.
“Wait a minute, wait a minute.” Charlie touched Cliff’s shoulder to stop him from leading them to the other side. “What do you mean by ‘meeting God’? Do you mean we are going to die on the other side of the hill?” he said with fear in his voice.
“Well, I don’t think so.” Answered Cliff. “One way to find out though is to go over the hill and meet God. Ready?”
“No, no, no, no, no. This is crazy Cliff. People don’t just walk up to God and meet him?” George objected.
“Sometimes they do. Today we will. “Come on, let’s do it.” Said Cliff.
“Hold it, hold it, hold it.” Charlie complained. “Doesn’t this sound a little crazy to you? We don’t want to do anything crazy here.”
“I don’t know Charlie.” George said thoughtfully. “If God is really just over that hill, it would be crazy not to come meet him. Sure, Cliff, I’ll come, let’s check it out.” And George and Cliff both started up the hill.
“Coming Charlie?” George called back to his friend.
“Wait, please, wait.” Charlie said sweat bursting from his brow and tears forming in his eyes.
“What’s the matter, pal?” George asked as he and Cliff approached Charlie, worried about him.
“I can’t do it. I can’t meet God today!” a panicked Charlie said frantically. “I have, well, some sins. They are hidden. And they are terrible. I can’t meet God.”
“But God knows about your sins already Charlie.” Cliff explained. “And he is ready to forgive you and offer you his friendship. It’s just over that hill Charlie, complete forgiveness because of what Jesus did for us on the cross and friendship with God. You want that don’t you, Charlie?”
“Yes, well, no, well, maybe. I don’t know. I am scared I can’t. I am sweating. I feel faint. I might throw up.
Please, don’t make me go George. Maybe next time. Yeah, that’s it. You guys go. Tell God I will come next time. When I get a chance, I will clean up my heart. Tell him for me. You will do that for me, won’t you Cliff? George?”
Charlie’s friends helped him find a seat on a fallen tree near there and gave him some water to help him calm down. “Okay Charlie. Sure, we will tell him. You just stay here with the car.” And with that, Cliff and George turned and walked up the hill. Charlie watched him feeling awful inside.
So many questions raced through his mind. What if there isn’t another time? What if I die before I make myself right with God? He considered running after them but then they disappeared over the crest and they were off. Charlie just put his face in his hands and wept.
He didn’t have the courage to run to God’s arms and be saved and now it was too late. And all because Charlie wouldn’t follow.
I hope you enjoyed this Christian children’s story about knowing God from Making Christ Known and will come again to read others. Thank you so much for visiting and God Bless! – Bob