Thursday, April 30, 2009

As is

I was at the mall recently. It's one of the least likely places you will find me but I was there. I went on my lunch hour to avoid the crowds. At the last minute, a friend went with me which made it much more pleasant.

While I was there I noticed they were giving away some free things if you spent a certain amount. Part of the promotion was that you could choose between a couple different items. As I was checking out and my sales person was bagging my items, she apologized for no longer having the choice as they had run out of one of them. I said it was OK. She just kept apologizing. The rest of the conversation when kind of like this:
Me: It's really OK. I know some people may have a problem with not having the choice, but it's really not a big deal for me. I didn't come here for free stuff.

Her: Really?

Me: Really. I mean, it's free.

Her coworker: Did she really just say that?

Her: Yes. (to me) Oh, we like you. Will you come back? We never hear that, do we?

Her coworker: No. Never.
They just went on and on about how people don't respond that way. She then gave me extra free stuff. I tried to refuse it but she insisted so I gave it to my friend who was gracious enough to go with me. She practically begged me to come back.

It really got me thinking about the gift God gave. He offers the free gift of salvation to us - all we need to do is accept it, as is. The problem is, we try to make it into something it was not intended to be. We smile, and say thank you, but then we think it's not quite right. Maybe we make it into a set of rules we have to follow. Maybe we think of it as a "get out of jail free" card, and go on living our lives the way we want with no concern for Him at all. Maybe it's saying certain parts of the Bible apply to us and others don't.

We want to custom order the free gift, with only the accessories we think will fit into our plans. Problem is, the plan isn't really ours. The gift isn't customizable. You can't make it better. You can't make it worse. Jesus is perfect, as is.


  1. I'm daily trying hard and failing harder to be more like Jesus than I was prior to. Thing is, I think a lot of our "this isn't right" comes from the way Jesus' life has been presented to us over the years.
    Often I look back and remember thinking how "easy" Jesus seemed to have it. I mean, the cross was horrible, but all the time that was built up to the cross was presented in a way that it appeared easy for him.
    That is soooo not the case. So, when we strive to be like Jesus, maybe we think that since it was easy for him, why are we having such trouble with it. I mean, besides the fact that he was perfection. Things don't get easier for me. The more I try, the harder it seems to get. When I read about Jesus' life the way it most likely was (tears, pain, laughter) it does seem to make me more normal (I hope that made since. filter.)

  2. Makes perfect sense Scott. I agree that many of us have been served a version of Jesus that is incomplete. (Sometimes, even the crucifixion was presented as pretty.) If we simply read the words on the pages of the Bible, we will miss out on so much. We must allow those words to change us.
    That's why it's so important that as we strive to be more like Him, we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and not try to change ourselves.

  3. K -

    had to run out tonight for dog food of all things - the house was pretty tired when i go home... and it was best if i went out... not sure i would have be the patience father figure with whining kids...

    well i end up at the store that has many people and no staff... to say the least my normal would have been to explain that i would like to be helped and expect to be...

    instead i thought about those fruits... you above blog on how your example was a wittness to the staff... with those two thoughts i took a breath and prayed for His spirit...

    i waited and gave the only guy working in the store a break - i think i even made him laugh...

    it was nice to actually feel like i was doing something right... turns out they didn't have what i wanted without much much effort... instead he discounted the bigger bag of dog food almost down to what the 20 lb bag was going to cost me...

    i didn't ask - he said it was because i was patient and understand???? me??? wow - i think that is the first time i've heard that...

    thank you for your blog and it's impact on my life!

  4. Thanks, Duncan. This actually reminds me of one of YOUR posts. Thank you for the encouragement, my friend.