I know a guy, in his early 20s, who just started following Jesus. A few months ago, this guy was living at his parents’, on house arrest, smoking pot, and unemployed. Before that, he had been a thief, a drug dealer, and a womanizer. Here’s how all of that went down:
As a young boy, in third grade, he began stealing. He started with little things, like candy and trinkets. By middle school, he was stealing money, for expensive clothes and basketball shoes. He didn’t steal from family, but he stole while he was with family. That is, he stole some $1500 from the family that his mother cleaned for. The family caught him, but he lied about it. They said they believed him, but they also never invited his mother and him back to clean.
By the end of high school, he had begun to steal the merchandise itself, from various stores in Castleton. A year or so later, an employee caught him stealing at Dick’s Sporting Goods. As the employee led him back to the offices, my friend made the decision to run for it. He bolted out the door and began a 45-minute chase across some of the busiest streets and parking lots in the city. He escaped, but he did so on an adrenaline high, along with a strong sense of pride. What I mean is that after this experience, he wanted to steal more, because there was always the potential for a chase. A chase which he thought he would always win.
Eventually, he didn’t win. He was stealing merchandise from Von Maur, and when the employee was leading him to the offices, he tried to escape, just like he did at Dick’s. But this time he couldn’t fanagle his way out of a 3-person sting plot. You see, the day before, he had stolen from Von Maur and he thought the employees didn’t notice. But when he came back the very next day, they eyed him like a hawk. And when he went to leave, two security guards collapsed on him, along with the store manager. He was arrested for theft and attempting to flee authorities. But then, when they were putting everything in a bag to take to the station, the police were about to throw a little gum wrapper away. My friend insisted that they put that in the bag, and the cops, a bit suspicious, went ahead with it. Back at the station, in the wrapper, the police found a trace of marijuana. They tacked on possession to the list of charges.