It's FRIDAY! It's pet peeve day! Hip hip, hooray!
So, yesterday I stopped at the local convenience store to use the ATM. These stores are always a beehive of activity. People are scurrying around the aisles, ordering, then waiting for food. The fuel pump area is usually filled with folks fueling their automobiles. In almost every part of this store, there are strategic convenient resources for the consumer to use. There is / are:
* Quick food service, a variety of foods and drink offered, an ATM, a fuel stop, squeegees and towels for windshield cleaning, garbage cans galore, cigarette butt disposals, a restroom area, and so on and so forth. If you need it, this place probably has it. They don't want you to leave in dissatisfaction.
Back to my visit. I parked far away from the entrance and walked toward the doors. There was a person standing just outside the entrance smoking a cigarette. After taking one more long drag, they threw the butt on the ground and stepped on it. Nice! At least it would not lay on the ground smoldering. Except, right next to the person, not more than an arm's reach away, was this cigarette butt disposal system....
Gaaaaaa, I bit my tongue and walked on by. Upon finishing my business at the store, I walked past the butt disposal and then paused. Much to my surprise, there was not one butt lying on the sidewalk, but at least five others.
The old adage, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink." really must be a thing. Of course, not far from the garbage can in the background of the picture, was a veritable hodge podge of litter on the sidewalk. Why do we not use resources that are made readily available to us?
The smoker, the blog writer, the reader, and all the other people in the world are open to this character flaw. We all have gifts of God offered to us daily and we often look the other way and not use them or somehow miss them. Jesus met people like us. Check it out.
"Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life ?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, “ ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’’” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. (Matthew 19:16-22, NIV)
We are fairly good hearted people. We want to do what's right and we seek the best way. We'll even be brave enough to ask Jesus what we should do. When the clear answer returns to us, we balk and turn away sad. We refuse the advice, the mission, the resource freely offered. God offers the best resource in Christ Jesus. We have him in arm's reach and many of us walk past with no regard for this grace; sad but true. Whether we visit a 'convenience' store, or look in the mirror, it is likely we'll see a person who needs to be more observant and open to godly convenient resources. It is time to extend our arms and embrace the greatest resource offered to us and he is Jesus.