Lessons Learned At Western Auto
Western Auto stores have been replaced with stores like Auto Zone, Pep Boys, Advanced Auto Parts, etc. I remember some time ago being at a counter paying for a battery to replace the “dead” one in our car. A display the counter had a sign marked “CLEARANCE - 49 CENTS.” The items on clearance were “Holiday M&Ms” in a one-inch diameter, twelve-inch-long container. The clerk pulled one of the containers off the display and asked my son Bill if he would like to have one - FREE. Bill declined the offer, and I said to the clerk, “You can’t ever give some things away.” I wished that the case with my battery, but it was not to be. As Bill and I got in the car, he asked me, “Dad, was I supposed to take it?” I said, “No, not if you didn’t want it.” Bill replied, “Dad, I didn’t want it because I have two packs of M&Ms at home, and I don’t need anymore.”
I later learned some lessons that day. The first lesson was Philippians 4:11,18: “Not that I speak in respect of what I want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content...but I have all things and abound: I am filled.” Bill had all the M&Ms he wanted, yet most children (and adults) are of the type who “want this,” “get this,” “give me,” and never seem to be content at all. Have you not already made or receive a “Want List” for Christmas? I know Christmas is almost three months away, but people are already getting their “list” together. It would do us good to LEARN contentment not only before the Christmas season, but afterwards as well. It is a great attitude. Through contentment, man would learn that the secret to happiness lies in limiting our desires rather than increasing our substance. Jesus said it best in Luke 12:15: “Take heed, and keep yourselves from all covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Two of the greatest things we can learn are the deep meaning of the words “content” and “full”.
Another lesson that came to mind was Matthew 18:4: “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” In Mark 10:35-45, James and John believed the greatness meant a “position” next to Jesus in the kingdom, but Jesus said it is not so: “Whosoever shall be first among you, shall be servant of all” (v. 44). I believe we learn from the parable of the prodigal son that greatness is not in “give me my portion” but “Father...make me” (Luke 12:15,19). May we learn that greatness is allowing God to mold our mind, like that of a child, into a servant faithful and true.
The biggest lesson came from what I said about not being able to give some things away. I thought about that and came up with these words: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God gave His Son away. That Son tasted of death for every man (Hebrews 2:9). And through one act of righteousness, “the free gift came unto all men to justification of life” (Romans 5:18). All Bill had to do was reach and take those M&Ms. He declined the offer. God’s desire is that none will refuse the offer of HIs Son to remove their sins, but for some, you cannot give salvation away. They don’t want. It is not because they already have it. It is because they feel they do not need it. his gift will only be offered once - in your lifetime. Refuse Him no longer.