Some of the fondest memories of my childhood are when we would all pile into the car for a road trip. Sometimes we would drive to see family or friends. Sometimes we would drive to attend a tent revival or church service. Sometimes we would just drive. Dad was the kind of guy that couldn’t pass a winding road without heading down it to see what was around the next bend. And I’m afraid I inherited that from him. Just ask my wife.
I particularly remember a trip we took when I was in 5th grade. We drove to the next town to visit a couple who were friends of mom and dad, and who had kids about our ages. We always had fun there because…how shall I say this? They were just a bit more familiar with the ways of the world than we were. I don’t mean to be passing judgment or anything like that. That’s for the good Lord to sort out in his wisdom. We just lived a little on the sheltered side.
We had been there for a short time when one of their girls brought out a Ouija board. If you don’t know what a Ouija board is, you’re better off! But to appreciate this story you need a basic idea what I’m talking about. Ouija Board is the trademark for a board marketed by Parker Brothers, the game company that brings us Monopoly. It has letters and numbers printed on it and a pointer that glides over them. You and a friend sit with it between you and put your fingers on the pointer. Then you ask the board a question. The pointer is supposed to move around the board, stopping briefly on the letters that spell your answer.
The thing about it is you can never be sure the other person isn’t actually steering the pointer. In fact you’re pretty sure they are! For that reason people pass it off as just a silly game and think no more about it. But wait, did I say you can never be sure the other person isn’t moving the pointer?
I had a secret that nobody knew. I was sweet on this girl that lived around the corner. I would ride my bike around the block in hopes that she would be outside playing. If she wasn’t, I’d ride around again. I hadn’t told a soul about her. So now it was my turn to ask the board a question. “Ouija,” I said, “Do I have a girlfriend?” Y-E-S, it answered. Big deal, she’s moving the pointer. As cool a kid as I was, how could I not have a girlfriend. “Ouija, what is her name?” L-I-N-D-A--N-E-L-S-O-N.
You might think my brother or sister told her…but they didn’t know. Nobody knew. Admittedly I was excited at the prospect that Linda Nelson was really my girlfriend for real, and not just in my hopes and dreams! But even at such a tender age I realized, right then and right there, that these things are more than just toys. I didn’t know what the power was that drove them, but I knew it was real.
Soon thereafter my sister got her own talking board. Dad told us it wasn’t a good thing to have, but he didn’t forbid it. I think it was one of those things where he was still formulating his opinion. We would have friends over and get the board out. And it would talk - with one glaring exception. When dad would walk into the room it would stop. Dead still. Dad would leave the room and it would start up again. He would come back in and it would stop.
The bible is replete with references warning against divinations and fortune telling, mediums and channelers, and Dad soon realized, and caused us to realize that this talking board surely fell into one or more of those categories. We got rid of that thing!
Laugh if you will. But I believe there is a spiritual force – an evil force - at work with those “toys”. Just google it and you will see that many people have offered testimonials of bad experiences in their lives that can be traced to their involvement with such occult related things. God forbid that should happen to you or yours.
My earnest prayer is that, just as my father, I would be so full of the Spirit of God that were I to walk into a room, a talking board would fall mute.
And on a personal note - Linda, if you’re out there, you missed your chance… I’m taken!