Saturday, September 10, 2005

leaving no shopping carts behind!


Guilt is kind of a funny thing. There's this funny distinction between conviction and guilt. One can be really good, and the other can be kind of a drag.
I have this conviction that I need to help out the helpless....that's good, right? I feel guilty that I'm not selling my blood to give the money to orphans in Kairo....that can be kind of debilitating...and I'm not so sure that's such a good thing.
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I have this thing where I like to take a shopping cart into the store I'm going to. It's just one less cart the guy who works there has to go and get - I figure. A couple of times I've found myself walking around and collecting shopping carts as though I work there. I feel compelled to get them all. I think it's probably a decent thing to do...but it's kind of odd that, on those occasions, I feel guilty if I leave some out there. It's like they're Lieutenant Dan laying in the field wounded and I can't leave the field of battle until I've gone in and brought every single cart back to safety.
You think I have a problem?
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Ultimately I have to believe that having a conviction...ultimately builds character - and guilt just tears you down.
So how do we tell the difference?
I just read a book that I'd like to sum up this way: "just think about it for a second"
The author used a few more words (and charged $18.99) but that's basically what he said. And there might actually be something to that. What if I just thought about this for a second. Does this tear me down...or ultimately build me or others up? Two years from now, when I think about this decision...will I be glad I went in this direction? Based on who God has made me, and ultimately who I think He would have me be...is this a smart move?
The bottom line is - do I believe that God loves me and wants what's best for me?
I just read a couple of lines of my Bible... "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." I guess if someone were to believe this...and then live their life soaking in that love....there would be a couple of changes in how they were to act.
It just makes sense...you act differently when you love someone...and when you know you are loved. I guess it motivates you to do things differently.
Based on this change of thinking...you might have some convictions to treat others differently. You might be a little more likely to send the Red Cross a couple of bucks. You might help out at a homeless shelter. You might listen more and talk less....
Things might very well be different. This can actually be good stuff....but to soak in the guilt of all of the billions of things that we aren't doing at a particular moment...well, that can very well be debilitating. It's a fine line...but I'd rather choose to live out of the love and see how it changes my actions.
that's just me though...

4 comments:

  1. I think that Dan was a Lieutenant, not a Major.

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  2. You were probably thinking of "Major Dad."

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  3. or major payne...

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  4. Anonymous4:10 PM

    or major margaret houlihan

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