Returning from a Christian camp weekend with her two sons and another Backyard Bible Club member, Roberta noted how fun it was to ride the mountain curves in the new SUV. What a great change from the desert highway!

“Flatlander” is the usual tag attached to people raised on deserts and plains as flat as pancakes. Roberta reflected that she had three of them in the under-10 set in the backseat. The new car was  winding through a mountain range higher than any of the children had ever seen in their lives.

Her two boys were making sounds like “Whee!”

But the queasy girl, Sherri, announced, “I don’t feel good.”

Roberta remembered this child, a neighbor and member of the Backyard Bible Club, fussed at anything from a small cut on her finger to having no one who would play with her.

Still, giving Sherri the benefit of the doubt, Roberta stopped and let the three children play on the mountainside. Riding cardboard down the slopes brought cries of joy and excitement from all three children.

But soon after they were back in the car, Roberta heard the pint-sized girl announce, “I think I’m going to throw up.”

“Whatever you do, don’t throw up in the backseat!” Roberta chimed with rhythm and finger snapping. “I like it! Let’s say it again, ‘What. ever don’t .throw. up in the backseat!”

A few more curves.

“My stomach feels funny.”

‘What. ever don’t .throw. up in the backseat!”

They stopped again for more recreation and time to regroup.

Sherri seemed fine. “How do you feel?” Roberta asked the girl.


But ‘okay’ didn’t last long. A few more curves and Sherri whined, “I feel like I’m going to throw up!”

“We’re almost down the mountain,” Roberta assured her. Once the SUV made the last gentle curve, Roberta again added, “What. ever don’t .throw. up in the backseat!”

Just then small Sherri committed the unpardonable sin in the back seat of the new vehicle. She got sick all over the upholstery, the carpet, and the two boys in the back seat.

After that, she sang out, “I feel better!” Roberta knew that the boys and upholstery were all washable, so all was forgiven. Sherri hadn’t been used to mountain roads or adventure.

The unpardonable sin of throwing up in a new vehicle may be nothing like the ones we feel are too great for God to forgive. Check the Ten Commandments in Exodus twenty and you may find yourself thinking, “Ooops! Broke that one, that one! What does God think of me?”

God loves you, that’s what. He loves you as you are and forgives you as you are if you have a humble and repentant attitude.

Proof is here: “You see, just at the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, thought for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” [Romans 5:6-8 NIV]

So don’t sweat the small stuff, because God doesn’t. He’s ready with open arms to bring you into the family of God. And it never matters if you threw up in the back seat or had done something worse. God loves you. With his love and forgiveness, He proves you’re totally washable and will come out like new.

Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from, her speaking engagements and  website, Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]







About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

Feeling Blue?

That can't last. Listen in on four talks of Jo's to banish those blues:

How Do I Count My Blessings When the Toilet is Overflowing?

The Choice We Have Between a Dead Egg and a Live Savior

Never Give Up!

Can Kermit and Miss Piggy Marry and Live Happily Ever After?