My Favorite Teacher -- I Lied to Her
She was my favorite teacher. Yet, when I was in trouble I lied my way out of it.
Mrs. Paula Hope retired after 35 years with the White Settlement Independent School district in Texas last year. Wow!!! When I read that she was about to retire, it reminded me of a day in the late 1980's when I confessed to her that I had lied. It was 7 or 8 years after I had graduated when I was making this "true confession" in the hallways of my alma mater. Surely, the statute of limitations had been long expired.
The sordid confession revolved around a school trip to Hawaii. It involved some smuggled airplane sized bottles of J & B Scotch that we had smuggled up to our hotel room. I leave the other party to this crime spree anonymous in case he ever wants to run for the presidency. I am sure if this ever leaked to the press, the media pundits would discuss it for weeks.
My partner in crime and I had a dilemma. Not only had we smuggled alcohol to our hotel room, we weren't quite sure what to do with the empty bottles? Of course, with a large restaurant roof 11 stories below our balcony a solution to our dilemma became apparently clear. Those bottles could be thrown off the balcony and we would gleefully watch them smash on the industrial rooftop below.
To make a long story short, we were summoned to the hotel lobby by Mrs. Paula Hope. My accomplice and I practically inhaled entire rolls of breath mints in the elevator. Mrs. Hope was accompanied by her husband (an off duty Arlington, TX policeman) and a large Samoan officer from the Honolulu police department. To me, he looked 8 feet tall. I had cautioned Greg....er, I mean my nameless partner in crime to let me do all the talking.
I blamed it on noisy people above us. They had indeed been noisy all morning. At the request of the Hawaiian cop, we consented to a search of our room. Of course, I knew all the evidence had been tossed end over end onto the rooftop below. The officer did find my cheap bottle of Brut aftershave and presented it as incriminating evidence. I smiled and asked him how probable it would be for a person to have multiple bottles of aftershave to throw off of a balcony. Suffice it to say, my quick mind and slick tongue helped me evade being sent home early and being the victim of a homicide as I was sure my parents would kill me.
Amazingly, I was off the hook...or was I? It always bothered me that I had lied to Mrs. Hope. She was one of the few teachers that I truly respected in my high school years. Therefore, eight years after graduating I found myself in the hallway of my old high school. At this point, I had been a Christian for about 3 years. God had brought the memory of that event back to my mind many times. When I saw Mrs. Hope in the hallway that day, I knew I needed to confess my sin and apologize to her.
The Bible tells us in James 5:16 to confess our sins one to another. There was a small part of my spiritual growth in Christ that was going to be stunted if I wasn't willing to face a person that I had transgressed against. I did not admit my guilt to Mrs. Hope so I could pat myself on the back. I owned up to my misdeeds so I could obey my Lord who had reminded me numerous times how I had lied to a lady I greatly respected.
Is there someone you need to call or have coffee with? If you follow that leading to make things right, you will experience great peace in your life. My prayer for Mrs. Hope is that she has a very fruitful and enjoyable retirement. My hat is certainly off to this great educator.