Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, since you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. I Corinthians 15:58, KJV
Today in the Greater Cleveland area, the temperature is about 90 degrees in the shade. Having said that, I was eager to get out of the heat! I’d visited a local store to make a purchase. Coming out of the store and heading towards my car, I noticed that the shopping cart rack was much further away from me than it originally appeared. As I glanced around the lot, several carts were left beside cars. No doubt, others, like me, did not feel like walking the extra distance, particularly in the heat, to return the shopping cart to its rightful place. As I debated whether or not to just find a convenient spot to leave the cart or make the extra effort and walk the cart down the way, a woman parked near me placed her items in her car and without hesitation, made the long walk to the rack, placed her cart in, returned to her car and drove away.
In that instant, observing her decision to do the right thing and return the cart, I was motivated to do the same. The woman, I am sure, had no idea that her simple act of being a responsible shopper and citizen (carts left unattended and in the wrong spot can scratch cars, cause damage, hinder parking and possibly cause an accident) encouraged and influenced me to also do the right thing. As I drove away, I thought about the power of right actions. When others are taking the line of least resistance, it may be tempting to do the same. You may be asking yourself, “Why should I make the extra effort to do this or that when my acts go un-noticed and unappreciated. Why should I press myself to go above and beyond?” You, however, are making a difference. Someone is watching- not only the LORD, but others who may be in the midst of choosing a path. When we elect to do what is right, what is ethical, what is responsible, we encourage and influence others to do the same.
Like the woman in the parking lot, we may never know how our right actions impact the lives and the decisions of others. We all face moments when it would be so much easier to take the road with the least amount of push back. When you are faced with much weightier matters than pushing a cart to a rack, remember that your decision(s) is impacting others. Ask the Lord for the strength to keep pushing your proverbial cart and do the right thing. Your beautiful example will ultimately have a chain reaction in ways that may not be revealed until you cross the river and see Jesus. Dare to take the road less traveled. Consider the words of John Oxenham paraphrased for women…
To every “woman” there openeth A Way, and Ways, and a Way, And the High Soul climbs the High Way, And the Low Soul gropes the Low, And in between, on the misty flats, The rest drift to and fro. But to every woman there openeth A High Way, and a Low. And every woman decideth The way her soul shall go.
By faith, choose the “high way.” Your labor is not in vain.
Post a comment or send me an email at Shepastor1@hotmail.comDon’t forget to register for the “Empowering and Encouraging Women in Ministry” Conference, August 23-25th, 2012. Register before June 30th and save $25.00! Visit www.wtimofgreatercleveland.org and click on “donate n register” to download the registration brochure.
Until Next Wednesday In faith, hope and perseverance, Pastor Chris