Death, Family, Grief, Obedience, Perspective

The Gallon Of Milk

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When I was a teenager, my mother would send me to the neighborhood grocery store for a gallon of milk. I expected her to send me to go buy milk at least once a week after school. Since this was in my pre-driver’s license days, I would get on my bicycle and peddle the 10 minutes to get the gallon of milk.

This wasn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, my preferred chore. The milk quickly became heavy as I peddled home. The plastic bags were useless and would inevitably tear. I inevitably ended up holding the milk in one hand and steering my bicycle with the other. Sometimes, the change would fall to the ground and other times my bicycle’s chain would fall off. It wasn’t unusual for me to end up walking home, milk in one and and steering the bicycle with the other. I spent many hours trying to find a way out of getting that gallon of milk.

One More Gallon

When my mother passed away in September 2008 I flew back to Florida from Africa for her memorial service. The long flights gave me ample time to think about those afternoon grocery store errands. I thought of how, as a teenager, I would groan inwardly when I heard my name called in the afternoon for the inevitable milk errand. I understand those teenage sentiments were normal. Teenagers aren’t the easiest creatures to live with. Yet, in the stillness when all is quiet, I wish I could hear her voice calling me to get her one more gallon of milk. I wouldn’t mind her asking me to go get one more gallon. In fact, I wish she could.

There will be a day when graves won’t hold us back.

On An Errand

Psalm 86:11a TLB “Tell me where you want me to go and I will go there…”

In much the same way that my mother would send me on an errand, God sends us on errands. Sometimes they are simple things like being kind to someone in the store or helping loved ones move house. The problem isn’t the errands we are sent on. The problem is our attitudes that inevitably arise when it’s not convenient or easy or pleasant to take care of those things that God has asked of us.

Like me, when I heard my mother’s voice telling me she needed milk, we groan inwardly when sent on an errand and try to find a way out. Would that we’d understand that we aren’t in disposable in this journey. God could have easily chosen someone else for the task, but He chose us when He didn’t have to.

Hebrews 4:2-4 TLB “For this wonderful news – the message that God wants to save us – has been given to us just as it was to those who lived in the time of Moses. But it didn’t do them any good because they didn’t believe it. They didn’t mix it with faith.”

Our feet follow our hearts. That is to say, what is in our hearts (our faith or lack thereof) will ultimately be what spurs us on to complete the task or find a way out of it. So go ahead and get the gallon of milk, it will do you good.

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