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It was the beginning of summer vacation when Jake and Nan ventured from their house. They felt the warmth of the sun on their faces and the wind tickled the hairs on their bare arms. This was their first time to wander from home without one or both of their parents present. They chatted excitedly, wondering what adventures awaited them. Jake never noticed the sudden look of concern that spread over Nan's face.
"I think it's great that Mom and Dad let us go out on our own, don't you, Nan?" Jake asked his sister, his smiling face looking upwards.
Nan heaved an anxious sigh. "Get real, Jake! Mom and Dad just want us out of their hair for awhile. You know they've been having problems. They just need some time alone to patch things up--but a whole month? Frankly I'm excited, but scared at the same time. I know we need to learn to make decisions on our own like Dad said. I just don't know if I'm ready for that." Nan sighed again. They walked in silence for awhile before Nan threw up her hands. "Oh fiddle," she said, "I guess we'll have to try to do the best we can. I just hope Mom and Dad will be okay."
Jake gave her shoulder a comforting pat. "It will be all right, sis. You'll see. We'll have all kinds of fun! We are free to do what we want, when we want and how we want. I'm for that!"
"Yeah, I guess," Nan replied, shrugging her shoulders.
They had walked several miles, both immersed in their own thoughts. Jake was bursting with excitement, and Nan was filled with mixed emotions. So lost in thought were they that they were startled when they came upon a fork in the road. It veered off in two directions: one tothe right and one to the left.
"Well, Jake, looks like we have a decision to make. I wonder which way we should go?" Nan looked toward the plain path on the right. She marveled at its simplicity and beauty. "Let's go this way, Jake. Just listen to those birds singing. See those flowers over there? Aren't they beautiful? That gravel road is so quaint and?" Just then a rabbit ran out from beneath a bush. "Look there!" Nan's eyes grew wide. "This path would be best to go exploring, don't you think?"
Jake, barely hearing his sister, was contemplating the path on the left. "Wow! Will you look at that, Nan! You can tell this path rocks. Look at all the neon signs and the mural on that wall! Someone paid some mega bucks for this. I've never seen anything like it before. I mean, look at all those plants and stuff? all those buildings and lights in the distance! I can hear some music too. Can you catch what song that is? I can't read those neon signs from here, can you?" Jake was breathless with excitement. "Let's go this way, it looks exciting. I bet we could have one fine time! What do you say, sis?"
"Jake, didn't you hear a word I said about this other path?" Nan tossed her long auburn hair behind her in frustration. "You know, Jake, they say you're suppose to be grown up once you reach 16 and make responsible decisions, and that path, brother dear, is not a good decision. So much for you being grown up," she teased. "My path is the better choice. The way you want to go frightens me. I have a real eerie feeling about it. How about it, Jake?" she coaxed, nudging her twin's arm.
"No way!" said Jake as he distanced himself from his sister. "I am not going down some old dusty path. Leave it to a girl to want to go down some stupid looking, narrow pathway where there are no challenges or excitement. I'm going where the action is. Look at those signs they've got my name written all over them saying 'JAKE'S PLACE'. I'm going to have some major fun. Later, sis."
"Hold on there, Jakey. Mom and Dad said we should stay together if at all possible."
"Oh yeah." Jake put his head down and kicked around some loose gravel with his shoe. As he placed his hands in his pockets his face lit up. Pulling out a cell phone he grinned. "Oh yeah! If that's the case then why did Dad give me this? He said to use it in case we got separated."
"That's right!" Nan exclaimed. "Mom gave me hers too. Looks like they had it all worked out. Okay, here's the plan?you go your way, I'll go mine. We'll keep in touch by phone in the evening when we have free minutes or Mom and Dad won't let us use these anymore." While holding her head up high with her hand on her chest, Nan continued with a smile, "This way they'll think we are being responsible adults." They both giggled.
Jake stopped and thought for a minute. "I don't know if I should leave you alone. Who will watch out for you?"
"Don't worry about me, bro. I can take care of myself. If I need help, I'll call you, and you do the same if you need me. Then we'll meet here in three weeks."
Jake's mouth dropped open. "Give me a break, sis. I thought we had a whole month!"
"Jake, three weeks is plenty. I'm worried about Mom and Dad and I want to get back. By the way, don't forget to call them, too, so they don't worry."
Thinking a moment, and hoping she would change her mind later, Jake agreed.
Jake started through the elegant entrance, whistling, his hands buried in his loose fitted jeans. "Jake, don't forget, meet here in three weeks exactly!" Nan called after him. Running his left hand through his sandy colored hair, he waved his right arm wildly behind him. "Yeah, yeah, whatever!"
Confident that her brother heard what she said, Nan went on her way. She was certain that she was about to have a pleasant experience.
Once we enter the teenage stage of our life we are no longer considered a small child. Teen years are when we begin thinking about our future and what we want to do. During these years, the decisions we make will affect the rest of our lives. So, it is important that we make the wisest decisions. So how do we do that? Sometimes we need help, from Mom and Dad, a teacher, or older sibling. James tells us in Chapter 1, verse 5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." Proverbs tells us in Chapter 9, verse 10: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." In other words, the best place to find wisdom is in studying the Bible, and in prayer.
There is a verse that goes very well with this chapter; do you know what it is? The clues below will help you in your quest for knowledge. Write the verse in the space provided.
1. Book: In the Gospels, this man dealt in Roman coins until he invested in Jesus.
2. Chapter: A number that is considered God's favorite number. To some it is a lucky number. It also is a number used several times in the popular riddle "A Man from Saint Ives".
3. Verse: The first verse is a number of the age in which we are no longer a youth, but a teen. The second verse is the one that follows.
**To find out if your answer is correct in each chapter, turn to the back section of the book, titled "Answers".
1. Which path do you think looks good enough to take?
2. Who do you think will have the best adventure?
3. Pick the path you would like to go down and write it on the line below.
You just made a decision, let's continue and see where your decision leads you.