Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
We were on the road....again...and had stopped at a rest stop. I keep a bag full of plastic grocery bags beside my seat to put in our car trash can. When I got back into the car after going into the rest area, the bag fell out, along with a roll of paper towels I had in there.
A man in the car next to us, got out and pecked on my window to tell me what had happened. John boy and I both opened our door to get out and pick it up. When John boy got out, he dropped a bunch of stuff he had in his lap. Before we could protest, this wonderful stranger got down on the pavement, on his stomach and reached underneath the car to retrieve all of the stuff we had dropped.
I prayed an extra blessing on that man, I can assure you. I want to be the kind of person who literally crawls underneath a car to help someone in need!
I hear that a lot. I always want to respond...where in the world did you ever get the idea that life is fair? It's a phrase, however, that I have heard all my life. From the earliest time I can remember, I hear myself whining to my Mother..."that's not fair!" I am sure that I thought it, even if I didn't say it!
In high school, when a girl in my class kept beating me in "correct words typed per minute" in typing class, I felt in my gut that it just wasn't fair! She always, and I mean always beat me by one word! If not for her I would have been the fastest typist in the whole school! That is just not fair!
Some people can eat whatever they want and never gain weight. That's not fair!
Some people have a knack for winning when they enter a contest. That's not fair!
Last night we went to see a friend who had entered a song writing contest. There were 20 contestants, including our friend. They chose 4 "winners" to go on to play in another contest. That winner would get to go to Nashville to play in yet another contest. Our friend did not win. Neither did any of the other actually talented people who participated! The 4 winners would not even have been chosen, had I been one of the judges!
That's just not fair!
My question for you to ponder is, would it have been better if our friend had not entered the contest? Would he feel better about himself today had he not entered? Should he have beaten himself up saying "that's not fair?"
You decide. As for me, I hope he keeps singing his song "off any ole' stage". I hope all of us do. After all, life is NOT fair.
However, there is joy in doing what God gifted each of us to do. He is absolutely fair. He will reward each of us according to what we did for the kingdom.
"WHATEVER you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord." (Colossians 3:17)
Have you ever had a day when just about everything that happened seemed like a coincidence? However, as a believer in Jesus, you knew beyond the shadow of a doubt, even when it was happening, that it was not coincidence?
I had one of those days yesterday. Tuesdays are usually grueling in the lives of the Oaks family. Our day starts by me going over to work in the warehouse at the Dream Center with my buddy Ann. We get the clothing ready to go out on the truck on Wednesday night underneath the bridge where we serve over a hundred people every week. Then we go to work sorting the new clothing that has come in during the week.
This week, the pile was much bigger than normal. It was a daunting task, and the warehouse is always very cold, so that doesn't help!
At 11 o'clock I leave Ann and go work on the food truck next door at the gym next to our house. After we pass out food, Tommy, John boy and I go to the store to get groceries for our Tuesday night boy's Bible study.
One of our boys, Zykeese, has recently been diagnosed with Diabetes, so I told him I would have a low carb meal. Hector, another of our boys, had requested hamburgers the week before, so that is what I had planned, along with stir fry veggies.
When I got to the food truck yesterday, John boy (who drives the truck over from the warehouse) said "we have lots and lots of meat today!" We rarely have meat. When we started unpacking the boxes there was package after package of...you guessed it....hamburger. Not only hamburger but chuck burgers...already made into patties. They always encourage me at the warehouse to take food to feed our boys, but I rarely do.
This day, there was SO much, I took it gladly. Plus, we had box after box of bread and hamburger buns. We also had a huge box of lettuce, which goes bad if not taken. As I was packing up the food that was left, I found two boxes of stir fry veggies, already cut into pieces to stir fry. Each box had a price of $10 on it and they were not large containers! The veggies would definitely be no good if not used that day or the next at the latest.
I came home with almost all the food I needed to feed my boys. Had I bought it it would have cost probably $60 or more.
Coincidence? I don't believe it for a minute. For those of you reading this who are believers, you know it too, It was just another example of our Lord, reaching down into our world, and arranging events and using people to let His children know that they matter and He is taking care of us