I used to think my best friend, Chase, would do anything. When I dared him to jump off the top step of my porch, not only did he do it, but he even took a running start!
When I dared him to ride the upside-down roller coaster, he didn’t just ride it, but he actually sat in the front seat!
And when I told him there was no way he would say hi to Julia—the prettiest girl in the whole school—not only did he say hi, but he sat and talked to her for five minutes!
I thought Chase would do anything. Until today, that is.
Chase comes over to my house almost every day. We live super close to each other. There is only one house in between ours. But Chase doesn’t come over on Sunday or Monday. On Sundays he goes to church. On Mondays he has some kind of a family night. He invited me a couple of times. We ate brownies and played games. It was pretty fun.
Chase usually comes to my house to play after school. It’s nice to have him around because my mom and dad are still at work. Playing with Chase is fun. We love to make up jokes. Chase is friends with everybody. I never hear him talk bad about other people—even if everybody else does.
Today Chase and I played basketball. It was pretty hot, so I asked Chase if he wanted a drink.
“Sure,” Chase said, as he rolled the ball into the grass and ran to my front porch.
We walked inside and went to the kitchen. As I opened the fridge, the rush of the cool air made the hairs on our arms stand on end. When I first peeked into the fridge, I just saw juice and milk. Then, an open can in the corner caught my eye.
My dad had left a can of beer open. He would never know if we took a couple of sips. I pulled the can out.
“Want to try?” I asked.
“What is it?” Chase asked.
“It’s beer,” I said. “My dad drinks it all the time. He won’t know if we just take a sip.”
Chase looked at me. He raised his eyebrow and put his hands on his hips. Then he said something I never thought I’d hear him say.
“No way!” Chase said.
“Did you just say no?” I asked.
“Beer’s not good for you,” he said. “We shouldn’t drink it. It makes you do dumb things.”
“Not if you just take one little sip,” I said. “Watch, I’ll show you.”
I raised the can to my mouth, took a small sip, and smiled. It tasted gross, but I didn’t want to look uncool.
“See? Do I look any dumber to you?” I asked.
“I think I’m going to go home,” Chase said. “Don’t drink any more of that stuff. It’s not a good idea.”
As I watched Chase walk out the door and run down the sidewalk back to his house, I couldn’t help but wonder why he would do almost anything but not take even a small sip of beer.
I took another small sip after Chase left. “Blech! This stuff really is gross,” I thought as I put the can back in the corner of the fridge.
Maybe Chase was on to something after all.
“The Lord has commanded you to take good care of your body. To do this, observe the Word of Wisdom.”
For the Strength of Youth (pamphlet, 2001), 36.
Illustration by John Zamudio; Jesus Christ, by Harry Anderson, courtesy of Church History Museum