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The Wheeliecopter

A True Story

What on earth is a wheeliecopter?

Well, the short answer would be that it was a figment of Mark’s imagination, but I am getting ahead of my story here.

It all started with Debbie. Debbie was the only cousin near the ages of Mark and Byron. When Debbie got to come over, she was really fun! For a girl, anyway. She liked to crawl under the house and swing on the swingset. She also lived about two hundred miles away. That is not so bad for grownups with cars. But boys and girls of the ages of Mark and Byron do not have a very good idea of how far things are apart. On a driving trip, they would ask every five minutes, “Are we there yet?”

So the boys tried to think of ways to go and see Debbie as often as they wanted, which would have been about every day. And it was Mark who came up with the idea of the wheeliecopter.

He could see it in his mind as clear as anything. It would go straight up in the air—way up there. Then it would fly forward. It would not take off or land like an airplane. It would come down on its wheels. Therefore, a wheelie-copter.

Mark thought it was a great idea. It would be perfect for visiting Debbie.

At school, Mark often got to tell stories while the teacher graded papers. He usually made up stories about caves and giants and monsters. He would imagine that he and his classmates were all part of a giant adventure. The stories were so real to Mark that they seemed to be happening as he told them.

Soon Mark began to tell stories about the wheeliecopter. He told them as if he was building it at home. According to him, it came from a kit that his dad had bought. And it could really fly. Real soon now, they were going to fly it over to his cousin Debbie’s house. This all sounded so real that the other children began to ask questions. “How does it fly?” “Do you know how to drive it?” “Where did your dad get it?” So Mark invited anybody to come over and see the wheeliecopter for themselves.

Now there was really no wheeliecopter at all. It was not part imagination. Oh, no! It was all imagination. If only Mark had just admitted that he had pretended… but he didn’t. You see, he had been pretending things to himself so long that he couldn’t very well see where the truth ended and the pretending began.

In the Bible, it says, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor.”* (Ephesians 4:25) Notice that it says to “put away lying.” Just stop it. That is what Mark needed to do. He had made other children believe things that were not so; he was lying.

Then two boys from school showed up at his house. “Where is your wheeliecopter?” they asked. Mark was quite embarrassed. “Wait a minute,” he said. He should have told the truth right then, but he didn’t. Instead he got a long, skinny board and put it across the top of his toy fire engine. It was the best he could do (which wasn’t much, was it?) to keep up the lie. But, of course, the boys weren’t much impressed when they saw it—would you be? “Some wheeliecopter,” they said, and left Mark to feel quite ashamed of himself.

“Behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.”* (Numbers 32:23)