Sunday, April 16, 2017

Left Behind

Recently, my students watched and discussed a video about a guy in Georgia who spent the majority of $31,000 mistakenly deposited in his bank account. He is not the subject of this blog from February 23, 2013.
Sometimes, we hear people accusing others of making a big thing out of a small thing and we've probably all said it and probably all been guilty of it. But, I'm not always sure it's a bad thing. There are times we see little things that others overlook but which make an impression on us. After working out this afternoon, I ran by Wal-Mart, a trip I had not planned to make. But we are having a gift exchange in our Chinese church tomorrow in conjunction with the Lantern Festival and I could not come empty handed. (Don't ask me what I bought in case you are Chinese. If there's one thing I cannot stand, it's somebody who spoils the secret gift they bring for the Lantern Festival!) I went through the self service line and waited for the gentleman who was before me. As he walked away and I began my purchase, I found a penny left in the change return slot. I called out to him and he stopped and turned around. I told him he had left his penny. His reply?
"It wasn't mine so I left it there."

You know, I grew up investing in the finders/keepers mentality, at least as it applied to small, insignificant stuff. If it was me, I could justify pocketing the penny and putting it in our Honduras/Haiti fund. After all, nobody is going to come back looking for an abandoned one cent coin. And yet, the gentleman in front of me did not think it was his place to take it and so I couldn't either. I don't know the man's name but I got a glimpse of his character. 

I don't want to overuse a scripture but recently I quoted Jesus in his statement that if we are trustworthy in small things, we will also be trustworthy in important things. Maybe that's why folks still make a big deal of that guy who had his 214th birthday eleven days ago and whose image is stamped on the penny. Historically, Lincoln has always been portrayed as an honest politician, something our country believes is in short supply these days. And let's not con ourselves; many of us struggle with honesty in the matters which we think are too small to count. The man at Wal-Mart didn't look at that coin with the popular perspective. His thoughts were worth much more than that penny he refused to take this afternoon. So were his actions.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth."
God bless,
Luke 18:1
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