The old man softly sat on the stool, his left arm perched on the hardwood counter top. His gray hair fell gently across his forehead as he casually recalled, “I remember when the gas price was only twelve cents a gallon, and when people sat on their porches and conversed about the events of the day. I recall we had the one neighbor, he was quite a character, his name was Bill Bob. Bill Bob used to sleep in his barn, until he finally built a house. His property consisted of the house in the front, the barn in the back and a little, tiny, pond behind the barn. One thing unique about Bill Bob was he was allergic to mosquitoes, if he got bit by one his face swelled up so it looked more like a basketball with little nose and mouth holes. One night after Bill had built his house he decided to go sleep in the barn again, He trudged out, pink poke-a-dotted blanket in one hand, a pillow in the other, with a couple feathers poking out the one side, and a “I’m a Yankees fan” ball cap pulled down over his eyes. The barn itself was old and rickety, the paint was peeling, the roof was sagging, and pieces of hay were sticking out from between the side boards. Yet, there went Bill Bob to sleep in the barn. The next morning Bill Bob came out of the barn, his face had swollen up two times it’s normal size looking quite like an official NBA basketball. Trudging, Bill Bob slowly went to the doctor, the doctor told him, “You will have to soak your face in chamomile tea for twenty minutes a day for two weeks, and then put some green cream all over your face.” So for the next two weeks Bill Bob sat next to his kitchen table with his face in a dish of chamomile tea and a straw coming out the top so he could breath.
Eventually the two weeks were up, and Bill Bob’s face looked normal again. But four days after his swelling had went down, Bill Bob went again to sleep in the barn. The next morning Bill Bob came out looking as swollen as a watermelon, and the process was repeated over again. Two weeks after the second escapade, our family was sitting on our porch talking about the high price of gas, when I spied Bill Bob going out to his barn again, his pink poke-a-dotted blanket in one hand, a pillow in the other with a couple feathers poking out the one side, and a “I’m a Yankees fan” ball cap pulled down over his eyes, I yelled across the lawn to him, “Bill Bob, Why do you keep going to sleep in your barn when your house is so nice?” Bill Bob mumbled, “Cause I like in there.” Sure enough the next morning Bill Bob came out so red it looked like he had just taken a ketchup bath. Bill Bob went to the doctor again, and the doctor looked him strait in the eyes and commanded, “Bill Bob, you must stop living in the barn, Bill Bob, stop living in the barn!”
The man gazed again at me and stated, “I will never forget the lesson Bill Bob taught me.”
How many of us still are living in sin? Are we still living in the barn? Have we really put on the new man? Have we moved into the new house? Have we torn down the old barn? Are we still trying to sneak back in, and ignoring the drastic consequences for our decisions? Not seeing how foolish we really look. Stop sinning. Put on the new man. Don’t wait. Change can happen, now.
Stop living in the barn.