On this day in history, 1875, Billy the Kid was arrested for the first time after stealing a basket of laundry. He later broke out of jail and roamed the American West, eventually earning a reputation as an outlaw. His crimes earned him a bounty on his head and he was eventually captured and indicted for killing a sheriff during the Lincoln County War. Billy the Kid was sentenced to hang for his crime; however, a short time later, he managed another jail break, murdering two deputies in the process.
Billy the Kid’s freedom was brief, as Sheriff Pat Garrett caught up with the desperado at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, on July 14, 1881, and fatally shot him. Although his life was short, Billy the Kid’s legend grew following his death. Today he is a famous symbol of the Old West, along with such men at Kit Carson, Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday, and Wyatt Earp, and his story has been mythologized and romanticized in numerous films, books, TV shows, and songs.
Here’s the lesson of Billy the Kid. You can choose your actions, but not your consequences. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:;23). We can run from our judgment, but we can’t run fast enough. God always catches up with us. And then, there is a price to pay. Sin always comes at a price.