“There’s something for everyone to love” is a slogan McDonalds shares around the world however I observed an instance this morning on the way to work that might just contradict that assumption. This poor guy, I have no idea who he was but I am certain that I know how he was. Not only did he get pulled over by a police officer, but the two vehicles came to rest in the drive through lane at… you guessed it, McDonalds! It in no way hindered the flow of breakfast and coffee seeking patrons as they just rolled right by the flashing lights and the embarrassed driver, but can you imagine being that poor fella? I’m sure that “I’m lovin it!” comes no where near to describing how his morning was going! If anything he was probably hoping for the embodiment of a slogan from a few years back as the officer approached his window which if I remember correctly went like this… “You deserve a break today!” There has to be a lesson here somewhere!
The Bible is full of admonitions regarding how we are give attention to the road signs of life. It is dangerous to overlook signs that warn us and signs of opportunity. “Neglect not the gift that is in thee…” And “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” Ah the danger of missing the signs. It’s not only dangerous but it can be costly as our afore mentioned driver can attest. A story from the 1990’s underscores this truth. “Chicagoans who worked in the Loop, the booming downtown business district, could easily ignore the city’s budget crisis; Washington’s cutback of aid to cities didn’t seem to hurt business. Last week, they learned one price of neglecting the underpinnings of all that economic growth. A quarter billion gallons of murky Chicago River water gushed into a 60-mile network of turn-of-the-century freight tunnels under the Loop and brought nearly all businesses to a soggy halt. It turned out that a top city official had known about the leak, but, acting for a cash-strapped government, had delayed repairs costing only about $50,000. The final cost of the damage could run higher than $1 billion. U.S. News & World Report, April 27, 1992.
More devastating than damages suffered by receiving a ticket or even a cities infrastructure is the damage neglect can cause a soul. Though many could be listed at this point allow me to mention two things we cannot afford to neglect. The first is God’s grace! In the first letter that Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth he says, “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our
Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;” Grace can be defined in many ways but it’s essence suggests unmerited favor. G.W. Knight writes, “When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time, that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award and yet receives such a gift anyway, that is a good picture of God’s unmerited favor. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.”
Secondly may we never neglect the gift of God’s Love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That verse has been shared and spoken in languages around the globe with the reminder to humankind that God’s gift of his son must not be ignored nor overlooked for there is not another path to an eternity with our creator to be found other than through accepting the free gift of salvation through Faith in Jesus Christ. On a plaque marking Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace near Hodgenville, Kentucky, is recorded this scrap of conversation: “Any news down ‘t the village, Ezry?” “Well, Squire McLain’s gone t’ Washington t’ see Madison swore in, and ol’ Spellman tells me this Bonaparte fella has captured most o’ Spain. What’s new out here, neighbor?” “Nuthin’ nuthin’ a’tall, ‘cept fer a new baby born t’ Tom Lincoln’s. Nothin’ ever happens out here.” Some events, whether birthdays in Hodgenville Kentucky (or in Bethlehem) matter more than we can imagine. The spiritual rebirth in a person’s life may not create much of an earthly splash, but those events of lasting importance will eventually get the notice they deserve. So let me ask you, Are you off to a good start?