Ice cream! Steak! Pizza! Every month when the large food truck delivered orders to families in the rural ranching area, it was like Christmas! What a relief! To the busy cattle-ranching crews, they appreciated the prepared frozen food as a gift of time as well.
Nearly dark when the truck roared into the circular drive of the Peterson’s ranch house, the driver wasn’t surprised to see the neighbors, the Monroes, rush over.
Soon all were poring over the colorful catalogs that guaranteed great gourmet meals with a minimum of effort, plus ice cream in bulk that would hold them over for the next month.
While the two ranch families were busy with their choices for the next delivery day, the food truck driver heard a racket outside in the drive. He glanced up to see a shadowy someone helping himself to cases of food and ice cream from the truck.
“Stop!” he yelled, running toward the truck. “Call 9-1-1!”
When the families ran outside, the thief spewed gravel as he sped out of the driveway in his dusty sedan. Identification was easy. They gave the sheriff his license number.
Not long after, a sheriff’s deputy pulled the driver over on a dusty country road. “I bought all this stuff! I didn’t do anything!” the driver claimed. But he had no receipt. His timing and license number incriminated him. Besides, the evidence was melting all over the back seat – chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, English toffee bars, and butter-soft frozen pizza. Worst of all, he was already on probation. Busted!
We all know that wrong doing is not restricted to Grand Theft Ice Cream. Are we ever guilty? Aren’t we pretty good people who do pretty good things most of the time?
Ever done anything that reaped red-faced embarrassment like gossip or envied something someone else has? Ever break a promise? Take something that didn’t belong to you? Fail to help someone who genuinely needed it when you could have?
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” is stated in Romans 3:23. Wow! Even though we are “pretty good people.” Busted!
A local pastor commented that when any of us do the wrong thing, we may find it hard to accept that we can be forgiven. “They don’t know where to begin,” Pastor Dave added, then explained that it has to start with the old-fashioned word and action involved in “repentance.” The action is two-fold: to feel regret and to return to God.
So begin with baby steps, recognizing that you didn’t make the right choice. Are you sorry enough to turn away from doing that again? Can you ask God to accept your apology? Of course! He reaches out with love and forgiveness.
What does God do with our wrongs? He forgives them and they are gone. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 [NIV].
A fresh start! A new beginning! It’s a gift that’s better than Christmas and as sweet as ice cream!
[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, available from her website, www.button-to-god.com. For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog.]