The Little Things

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I was in a discussion not too long ago that asked “If you could have any superhero’s power, what would it be?”  Of course I wanted Spiderman’s powers because, well, who wouldn’t?  One girl in the discussion said she would want to be able to teleport.  One guy wanted super strength; another wanted to be able to run fast.  One even wanted to be able to read people’s mind.

After this week, I change my vote to the power of time travel.

Have you ever had something happen, and then within 5 minutes you wish so bad you could go back and replay the whole situation?  I’m not sure if your lunch breaks are anything like mine.  If you get to sit for an hour and eat lunch in peace, then it’s not.  If I’m not at a lunch meeting, then I’m typically eating leftovers as quick as I can so that I can get a few errands run before I have to be back.

Recently, I used my full hour to go to Walmart and get my oil changed, then I wanted to get to Lowe’s and return some items if I still had time.  It had been raining all morning (at times pretty hard), but it really eased up when I headed to Walmart.  Of course I took my umbrella in with me just in case God decided to let it open back up before I came out.  To my surprise, the oil change was completed relatively quickly, and I was going to have just enough time to get to Lowe’s if I hurried.  When I went to pay, there was a young lady in front of me (maybe in her low 20’s) that was checking out as well.  She was picking her car up, and also buying windshield wipers and other maintenance items for her car.  I know I was stereotyping, but I was impressed because you don’t typically see ladies of her age buying stuff like that.

Well, I paid for my oil change and headed back to my truck.  The rain had just barely started to fall.  It was more of a sprinkle, but I opened up my umbrella anyway.  The same young lady was parked less than 20 yards from me, and she was in the process of replacing her windshield wipers.  She opted to just deal with the sprinkles, so she was getting wet while I stayed dry.

Then the little voices in my head started bickering.  “Jonathan, you need to hold the umbrella over her while she is doing that.  But no, someone might see you as a married man and think you are trying to flirt with someone younger.  But she’s getting wet.  But it’s not raining much and she doesn’t seem to mind, so she’s fine.  But you should at least offer to change the wipers for her.  But she probably knows how to change them better than you do, and you only have 20 minutes left to get to Lowe’s and back to work.”

I hate to say that the voices were still bickering in my head as I drove out of the parking lot toward Lowe’s.  I didn’t help.  I didn’t even slow down walking toward my truck.  And just to throw salt in the wound, the rain started coming down harder.  All I could hope is that she had finished before that.

How much of an opportunity did I miss to show her Christ?  Maybe she was having a bad day and could have really used some kindness from someone.  Maybe she had a job interview to go to, and now she has to go wet.  Maybe it could have sparked an invitation to worship.  Maybe it would have been the encouragement she needed to start living a life for Christ.  I’ll never know because I didn’t even try, and it was all so that I could run another errand that could have waited till another day.  As hard as it is to say, maybe it was a test and I failed.

Are you looking for opportunities to be a shining light to others for Christ?  Are you looking for ways to help others?  But more importantly, are you willing to do the work when the opportunity arises?  I hate to say I missed an opportunity to help someone else.  I hope I have enough courage to not miss any more, and I pray you don’t either.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  ~ Matthew 5:16

 “’…for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’  Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’  Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’”  ~ Matthew 25:42-45