Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion for August 3, 2016


I’ve always enjoyed doing service activities that involved working alongside other people.  Over the span of my life (which amazes me when I think of the length of that span!), I have participated in a myriad of activities that involved doing work with a group of people, often times even when I didn’t even know many or any of the people I was working with!
But you know,  when a bunch of people get together with a specific objective in mind,  everyone gets into a rhythm and it doesn’t matter whether you know the people you are working with or not you all just do what needs to be done!  There is a goal and a way to get there and you just put your nose down and do it!
I admit that I am usually not one of those people who charge into these situations and grab a job, I am the person who likes someone to say to me “Do this” and sometimes even “Do this this way….”.  Once you  have given me directions, I am good to go!  I will stay at that responsibility until I am told to not do that responsibility any more or until the job has been thoroughly completed.  In fact I enjoy doing routine tasks over and over and over and over.  Must be why I often spend my evenings watching my favorite TV show and cutting out shapes for one kid project or another.......
Years ago my husband and I owned a silk screen company where we printed t-shirts and hats.  My favorite thing to do was to get a stack of t-shirts or hats and sit with my little press and stamp t-shirt after t-shirt after t-shirt after t-shirt…. Well, you get the picture!
An opportunity arose to work the concession stand at the local baseball field.  An activity that I really enjoy - a group of people, working together, shoving those hot dogs and hamburgers out the windows to the hungry fans; filling up the drinks and handing out french fries.  A thoroughly enjoyable evening which was also for a good cause.
I show up for my evening of concession stand concessioning and take my position asking boldly, “What do you want me to do….” and eventually as people began to find their stations and begin their work I found myself at the pretzel station.  I became the pretzel lady.  Perfect for me - one job, one responsibility and I could man my area all evening.  
After proper instruction of course - take out the pretzel, spray it with water, sprinkle some salt, wrap it up and the customer is ready to enjoy a delicious doughy, salty snack! - I began my duty with great dedication and enthusiasm!
The evening went great.  I perfected my craft, held my spot and happy customers abounded.  That is until the end of the evening when it was close to closing time.  There were 5 pretzels left hanging in their little warmer waiting to make someone a scrumptious treat.  And truth was if they were left they were going to be thrown away and who likes to waste food much less the revenue that would have been garnered had the pretzels been sold to that hungry ballgame watcher……
So as we began to close down the operations, anyone who came to the window to buy just about anything was offered a pretzel.  
“I would like to buy a Sprite?” and the reply was “Would you like a pretzel with that?”  “I would like an order of french fries.” followed by “Would you like a pretzel with that?” Pretzels were suggested to random people walking by…. “Want a pretzel?  They are delicious!”  
And lo and behold, we were able to sell the rest of those pretzels (except one which went home with me to my dog because my dog loves pretzels…..)  
You see what a little bit of enthusiastic suggestion can do!
So why is it so hard for us in the church to do the same thing in sharing the gospel?  Why is it so hard for us in the church to offer people something much better and much longer standing than a pretzel?  Why is it so hard for us to offer people Jesus as if he were the last pretzel and we needed to get it sold?  If we can get excited about offering people pretzels, then surely the greatest gift we can offer anyone is a relationship with Jesus Christ and that should get us very excited! 
So the next time your church is having a dinner, or a bible study or a special evening together; the next Sunday morning worship; whatever it may be.  Get excited!  Know the value of ‘selling’ this experience to those who are not hungry for pretzels, but hungry for something in their life that will give it meaning - give them meaning.  
OK - I want to hear it out there - when someone comes around you say, “Hey!  Want some Jesus?  It is the best thing around!”