Yesterday was supposed to be a normal day. Nothing earth shaking was supposed to happen–just work. And lots of it. (I take it back. A friend was going to come surprise me at 11:23 a.m. … but something happened to prevent it, and she was gracious enough to understand.)
A coworker of mine won a contest on a local radio station, and she got to pick a handful of people at work to be picked up by a limousine and driven to a nice restaurant for lunch!
And she asked if I wanted to go? What?
I’ve never ridden in a limousine in my life. I’ve seen pictures of them, but I’ve never sat in one. So when this monster pulled up into the lot of the Epic Center, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. The driver’s name was Floyd, and he was really nice (though we were told his name would be Leroy…. go figure). And all of us had to scoot in down one long bench seat. There was a compartment with ice, a compartment with Cokes, and a bunch of glasses and bottles. The roof had little LED lights in it that twinkled like stars.
And good old Floyd had that heater turned up so high, nobody needed a coat inside, which was nice because it only got to like 25 today.
But as we drove across town to the restaurant, I couldn’t help feeling humbled. I hadn’t expected this sort of a thing. I’m not sure anybody did. We all just showed up at work today, and BOOM! We ended up in a limo, being taken for a free lunch.
Today’s verses are Proverbs 3:1-4.
My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart.
If you do this, you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation.
Has someone ever done something nice for you when you really hadn’t done anything extraordinary to deserve it? I mean, maybe you showed up on time. Or you didn’t mind watching a kid at the last minute. Or whatever. As far as you were concerned, you were just doing your best to treat others the way you wanted to be treated.
I think a lot of times we Christ-followers focus on what goes wrong in our lives. I know I do. It’s easier for me to face the troubles and trials when they come if I’m expecting them, so when I get blessings instead of disasters, I don’t know what to do. I almost don’t know how to handle myself.
I didn’t used to spend much time thinking about the concept of favor when I was a kid. It didn’t really mean anything to me. But it was something my mom talked about a lot–that we had favor. I didn’t start noticing it until I got older. As far as I was concerned, I was just living the way Jesus would want me to live, making decisions as He would, treating people like He would, working like He would, and I would end up with opportunities.
Some people would say it’s because I worked hard to earn them, and maybe they’re right to a certain extent. But I say I worked hard because that’s what Jesus expects from me–to work for people as though I’m working for the Lord (Colossians 3:23).
The Bible is so full of wisdom, and all we have to do is learn it and apply it to our lives. Sure, sometimes life gets screwed up, and sometimes you have nothing to do with it. Sometimes life is just life. Sometimes you do the right thing, and you end up in bigger trouble than you were before.
But other times, you do the right thing, and God gets to show you what real favor looks like. It’s privilege you don’t deserve. It’s regard you haven’t exactly earned. It’s respect you don’t know how you obtained.
You get all that just by working hard? No. You are given that when you remember how God says to live and you choose to live that way.
Now, you may not end up in a limo being taken to T.G.I. Friday’s for a free hamburger … but favor will make itself known in opportunities or unexpected gifts that really brighten your day. And when you see them, don’t ignore them. Acknowledge them for what they are.
You made the right choice, and God is blessing you. So thank Him for it. He doesn’t have to, you know. He’s not bound to shower you with limo rides just because you chose to do what He expected of you anyway. But He’s a good God, and He knows that we all need a little encouragement every now and then.
So are you tired of doing the right thing all the time? Think nothing good ever comes from doing the right thing? Think nobody notices? Just hang in there. You might have a limo waiting for you too.