Today is another day that the Lord has made!
We have been given 86,400 seconds in the next twenty-four hours. How shall we spend them?
Recently, I read a funny story about a man who brought his lunch to work every day; and, each day his lunch consisted of a chicken salad sandwich.
Day in and day out, it was the same thing! He faithfully brought a chicken salad sandwich to eat for lunch!
This man’s coworkers thought it was a little strange but simply allowed that he must really like chicken salad sandwiches. But, one day the man began to grumble that all he ever found in his lunch bag was a chicken salad sandwich!
The man’s grumbling became louder and louder. One day, the man was heard saying, “If I have to eat one more chicken salad sandwich, I will die!”
A coworker overheard the man and suggested that he ask his wife to pack him something different for lunch. The man replied, “Oh, I actually make my lunch myself!”
The reality of life is that far too often we find ourselves on a dead-end road, living in circumstances that are unacceptable and exhaustively list others who are to blame for our disenchantment with life, all the while we’ve made our own lunch!
This morning I was rereading the story of the Prodigal for the umpteenth time and a revelation came to me. Of all the mistakes the Prodigal Son made, blaming other people for his plight was not one of them.
And, if he’d chosen to have done so, he would have had an exhaustive list himself! What about his so-called friends, his drinking buddies, the ones that helped him engage in wild living (Luke 15:13)?
He could have blamed his father. It’s not like I haven’t heard that old saw before.
“Dad was too lenient! Dad spoiled me! Dad should have stood up to me and held his ground! Dad should have never given me that money in the first place!”
The prodigal could have even blamed the pig farmer (Luke 15:15). He could have bitterly complained that the pig farmer should have paid him a higher wage. He could have pointed out the unfairness of it all, that the pig farmer was exploiting him.
But…the Prodigal never expressed any other stance than he’d packed his own lunch. In other words, it was his own fault that he was in such a mess! Ironically, this admission was his first step towards his healing.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you (Luke 15:17-18 NIV).’”
But…that’s the rub, isn’t it? When he came to his senses.
I do not believe that we can make any positive ground towards changing the unsettling circumstances of life without first having the sense to understand that in many cases, we have packed our own lunches.
But…once we do come to our senses, endless possibilities open up for us. Even the previously unthinkable may offer opportunities once we see them in a different light.
“So, he got up and went to his father (Luke 15:20a NIV).”
Remorse can actually be helpful. Remorse can drive a course change. Why not?
We’re deep into the season of Lent now. Today may be a good day to take a hard look at our lunches.