Robbery turns into a comedy of errors

Published 5:52 am Monday, April 17, 2023

In his book “Turn,” author Max Lucado tells the true story of a young would-be-robber named Charles Robertson who lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
“Cash-strapped Robertson, nineteen, went to Jefferson State Bank on a Wednesday afternoon, filled out a loan application, and left. He returned within a couple of hours, not to fill out another application, but to fill up a bag. He scribbled a demand on scrap paper, explaining that he had a gun and wanted money. The teller complied and all of a sudden, Robertson was holding a sack of loot.
“Figuring the police were fast on their way, he dashed out the front door.
“He was halfway to the car when he realized he’d left the note. Fearing it could be used as evidence; he hurried back into the bank and snatched it from the teller. He scurried out the same entrance and ran a block to his parked car. That’s when he realized his second mistake.
He’d left his keys on the counter when he’d returned for the note. At this point total panic set in.
“Robertson ran to a nearby fast-food restaurant and ducked into the restroom. He dislodged a ceiling tile and hid the money and the .25 caliber handgun. Scampering through alleys and creeping behind cars, he finally reached his apartment, where his roommate, who knew nothing of the robbery, greeted him with the words, ‘I need my car.’
Robertson’s getaway vehicle was a loaner. Rather than confess to the crime and admit the bungle, the hapless robber dug himself deeper into the hole.
‘“Uh, uh…your car was stolen.”’
“Well, I’m calling the police!” his roommate said.
“Robertson watched in bewildered fear while the roommate reported the stolen vehicle. About twenty minutes later an officer spotted the stolen car a block from the recently robbed bank.
Word was already on the police radio that the robber had forgotten his keys.
The officer put two and two together and tried the keys on the car. They worked.
“Detectives drove to the address of the person who’d reported the stolen car. There they found Robertson. He confessed, was charged with robbery and was put in jail. No bail. No loan. No kidding.”
We may laugh at the mistakes of a bumbling burglar, but this story is a good illustration of mankind.
King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is death.”
Every day there are people who live according to what seems right to them.
They may never rob a bank, cheat on their taxes or drive above the speed limit.
But, as Solomon wrote, simply doing what seems right can lead us to spiritual death.
I’m sure that Charles Robertson thought he had the perfect plan to end all his financial woes. The plan seemed right to him at the time but it certainly didn’t end the way he was hoping.
Sometimes, we may want to do things our own way, yet they don’t turn out the way we planned.
So, what should we do to reverse the curse?
Solomon gives us the answer in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.”
Instead of doing what seems right, we should look to God and let Him direct our steps.
If what you’re doing isn’t working, why not start trusting God?

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.

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