Grace… Not Gas Prices!

Gas PumpI know… the title of this blog post probably has you scratching your head and wondering how in the world Intern Jennifer can include a word like “Grace” that comes with all of God’s promise and mercy, in the same sentence as the concept of gas prices. But I assure you… there is a point where this will all make sense!

Recently I’ve noticed (perhaps because of the onset of winter) that there is constant chatter about if gas prices are going up or if they are going down.  This made me remember a story I used in a workshop I had given many years ago.  Since I could hardly write it better, I thought that it might be worth re-telling here.  It’s by an author, Kent Crockett, from his book, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint.

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Selling Your Joy

One day my wife, Cindy, refueled our car at a filling station in a Texas town. Instead of driving up to the self-service pump, she accidentally pulled up to full-service. She didn’t realize the luxury service cost an extra fifty cents per gallon until she paid for the gas. Later she told me how the station had hiked the prices on full-service.

“That extra fifty cents per gallon surely has to be a violation of some federal law”, I thought. I quickly calculated that the extra seven dollars she spent on full-service would have taken our vehicle 128.33 miles farther down the road if she had bought self-service gas. The “full-service gas station robbery” had me fuming for several hours.

As I was mulling over this terrible injustice, God showed me what I had done. I had sold my joy for seven dollars! I never realized how cheaply I would surrender something so valuable. Just as Esau exchanged his birthright for a bowl of soup, I exchanged my joy for seven dollars’ worth of gas.

At what price are you willing to sell your joy?

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This has me thinking that we often waste our precious resource of “time” when we get worked up over some injustice we think we have unfairly endured.  We spin our wheels complaining and fretting, when what we should be doing is being thankful to God for our gifts.  Sure, I might have to pay extra at the pump and it is likely due to the machinations of some futures prospectors or a group of bearded old men.  But do they also get to have my joy, too?  Do I give away with both hands the peace I need in my life?

I find the term “free time” to be such a strange phrase because our time is not free, without cost or value.  No we are given just a brief time on this earth and it is precious beyond measure.

So, let’s use that time and not count the cost.  Let us use our spiritual coin on our loved ones, on a worthy cause, in actions that honor God’s blessings in our lives.  Take measure of your treasure… and choose wisely where you spend it.

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Intern Jennifer Michael has completed 3 months of internship at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Laramie, Wyoming and is looking forward to what is ahead.