The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(A repeat from 2011. A similar incident to the one referenced in this essay happened last night during a visit to the grocery store, this time involving cookies. I'm learning. I think.)
"A Big Deal"
When our children were young (just yesterday, wasn't it?), they would often bring products to me as we shopped at the grocery store. "Please may I have this, Dad?" When I said no, they sometimes placed the item on a shelf where we were standing, rather than return it to its original location. I did not allow this. "Never make work for somebody else," I would say. "Return it to where it belongs."
Fast forward quite a few years. I recently picked up a container of coffee at the store, and put it in the shopping basket. On a special display a few aisles over, however, I discovered a bigger container at a better price. I decided to buy it instead of the smaller item, and placed the larger version in the basket. I then placed the smaller container on the display in front of me and turned to make my way to the checkout register.
"Never make work for somebody else. Return it to where it belongs." Echoes of my own words from long ago rang in my heart and mind. A brief thought flashed through my mind. "Well, this is a can of coffee I am putting on this coffee display, so what's the big deal?" It was a big deal, however, for all the reasons you can imagine without my mentioning them. I retrieved the smaller can from the display and returned it to its proper place on the previous aisle.
Left to myself and my own rationalization, I would have hypocritically and lazily left the coffee where it did not belong. I would have made work for someone else. Thereby, I would have violated the protocol I long ago established for our family. Thankfully, the Lord does not leave us to our own fleshly devices.
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).
I had no doubt as I returned the coffee to its shelf that the Lord had graciously fulfilled His Word in the experience. I also had a great sense of joy, and a smile on my face. It took a little time and a little effort (very little, really), but it brought back precious memories of days gone by (again, just yesterday, wasn't it?), and precious realities of the Lord Jesus Christ in this present day.
Obedience to God in large and small matters flows from the river of His abiding presence in us. We find ourselves doing things we know we would not be doing if the Holy Spirit were not working in us "to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Certainly, we participate in the process as we determine to trust and obey. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). However, the Lord Jesus receives all the glory because even as we make our free choices of devotion to God, the realization floods over our soul that Christ walks in us, even as we walk by Him (II Corinthians 6:16).
The Christian life involves a dynamic, hands-on experience of the living God revealed primarily in countless small matters of the day. We miss His leading at times, of course. Sometimes, however, we realize the blessed reality of a present and living Lord Jesus revealed in venues of life wherein seemingly mundane events shine with the glory of His dynamic presence and working. This day will offer such opportunity. May the Lord open our eyes, fill our hearts with expectation, and realize along the aisles of our experience that small matters involve a big deal...
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
Before honor is humility.
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