My name is Elen and I come from Norway. Do you know where Norway is? Norway is a country in northern Europe, in the part of Europe called Scandinavia. Norway looks very different than Kansas. We have hills and fjords.
A fjord is where the ocean water has cut a big lake into the land. It is similar to a bay, but normally it reaches farther into the land and has high banks around the sides. To cross a fjord you must either take a ferry that will bring you and your car over to the other side, or drive all the way around, and that could take several hours.
This story happened one day when my daughter and I went down to take one of those ferries. When we got near the ferry, I took out my purse to get the money to pay the toll. When I took the money out it fell and went down in a crack in the car. Now I did not have enough money left to pay for the ferry ride. I had to get the money out. My daughter and I got down on our knees searching for a way to retrieve the lost coins. We tried using a spoon and a knife and anything else we could find to pry it out, but nothing worked.
My daughter was a teenager at that time. I do not know what teenagers are like here in America, but teenagers in Norway are really shy. They get embarrassed very easily if their parents do something stupid. And my daughter was a teenager just like that.
I said to her, “Well, we if cannot get the money back, we better tell the ferryman what happened. Maybe the ferryman will feel sorry for us and let us go over for the money that we have.”
But she said, “Oh, no Mom, I will not have you to tell that story. It is so embarrassing, and he will not believe it anyway. He will think that you are lying because that story is so stupid.”
“I am not lying and I know that I am not lying,” I replied.
“But He will think you are lying.” She felt so embarrassed that she did not want me to tell the ferryman.
Then she suggested, “Why not tell him that someone stole your purse. He would believe that.”
But I said, “I could not lie.”
Do you know what I do every morning before I open my eyes? When I wake up I always pray that God will help me that day not to break any of His commandments. And if a temptation comes that He will remind me of my prayer, and help me not to break the law.
I told my daughter this, and I said, “I could not break one of His commandments now.”
But she said, “Oh, but I feel so uncomfortable. What if I go and hide in the back of
the car? He would not see me, and you would only have to pay for yourself and the car. Then you do not have to lie.
“That would be lying too,” I said. I would be pretending something that was not true.
What could we do now? My daughter did not want me to tell the truth, and I would not tell a lie, so there was only one thing to do. And that was go all the way around the fjord, even though it would take two hours. My daughter agreed that we must go all the way around. So I turned the car out of the line of all the cars that were there, and we drove back up the hill and started to drive around.
Then my daughter said, “I am so thirsty and tired and it is such a long drive all the way around the fjord. Let’s go back and you can tell that stupid story anyway. I will sit there in the car with my eyes closed and pretend I am not there.”
“Ok,” I said, “We will go back.” We turned the car around and went back again to the ferry. I pulled up to the ferryman and told him the whole story. He looked at me closely and said, “Isn’t there something wrong with your leg?”
“No,” I replied, “My leg is perfectly fine.”
“But no, your legs look bad,” he said. I only charge half price to the handicapped, and so you can pay half price.”
“But I am not handicapped,” I objected.
“Well anyway,” He said, “I am only going to charge you half price.”
So we went on the ferry for half price, and we even had enough money left over to buy my daughter something to drink. Isn’t the Lord good? When we got to the other side I said to my daughter. “Did you learn something today?”
She nodded her head and said, “Yes, I did.”
My young friend, you see if you are honest the Lord will always be with you. Sometimes it can be difficult when you are honest, you might even get into trouble, but remember, God will be there. He has promised that He will be there if you always do His will.