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  • Pastor Ralph

At the Lunch Counter

When I was a kid I used to look forward to going to Woolworth's in downtown Belleville. For me, it was always a welcome experience. I was able to purchase something neat and get fries and a coke at the lunch counter. It was awesome! I was reading, the other day, about how Woolworths got started. The story is very revealing and interesting...

“Some years ago an energetic young man began as a clerk in a hardware store. Like many old- time hardware stores, the inventory included thousands of dollars' worth of items that were obsolete or seldom called for by customers. The young man was smart enough to know that no thriving business could carry such an inventory and still show a healthy profit. He proposed a sale to get rid of the stuff. The owner was reluctant but finally agreed to let him set up a table in the middle of the store and try to sell off a few of the oldest items. Every product was priced at ten cents. The sale was a success and the young fellow got permission to run a second sale. It, too, went over just as well as the first. This gave the young clerk an idea. Why not open a store that would sell only nickel and dime items? He could run the store and his boss could supply the capital.

The young man's boss was not enthusiastic. "The plan will never work," he said, "because you can't find enough items to sell at a nickel and a dime." The young man was disappointed but eventually went ahead on his own and made a fortune out of the idea. His name was F.W. Woolworth.

Years later his old boss lamented, "As near as I can figure it, every word I used in turning Woolworth down has cost me about a million dollars!"

Daily life does not usually confront us with such strategic opportunities as the above story. But life, each day, presents us with opportunities in which we can participate. For the Christian, they are God sent directives to share His love. As Christians, we are given different opportunities, based on our setting and resources. We have the opportunity to look at the day ahead, even though it might be filled with challenges, through the wisdom and love of Jesus, who is with us. On the other hand, it could be a day where everything fits together. If that is the case, again, we need to bath the opportunities in His grace. It is a chance to pray, to praise, to participate, in the lives of others, to proclaim the love of Jesus, to provide comfort and grace to those who are hurting and to produce fruit to His glory.

It is perspective. Do we greet the opportunities in a Christ like fashion, pray about them and act according to God’s leading or do we simply not even acknowledge the possibilities of the day? This is not to guilt us but encourage us. Some days, we need to step back and do some personal care, some TLC. Hey, that is okay! Other days, the setting is more conducive. But in the end, “A wise man makes more opportunities than he finds.” We just need to prayerfully look and ask God, in a realistic way, what we can do! Praying alone is vitally significant.

Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

God bless you. Remember, Jesus loves you!

Your shepherd and friend Pastor Ralph

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