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Twenty Five Cents

The new preacher at church needed to go downtown as his car was in the shop, so he took the bus.   He got on, paid the driver and received his change back.   He sat down and then noticed that the bus driver had given him a quarter to much in change.   By now, he was getting close to his stop, and he noticed the driver was busy and he was running late to his meeting, and after all, it was just quarter.   At his stop he started down the stairs, but then turned back to the bus driver and handed him the quarter, telling him that he had given him too much change.  The bus driver smiled and said “I know”, then asked him, aren’t you that new preacher that just moved into town.  The preacher said “Yes, I am”.   The bus driver smiled and said, “See you on Sunday, preacher”.   The preacher, quite shaken, got off the bus, sat down on the bench and prayed for forgiveness.   He said to God in his prayer, “I almost sold your Son for a quarter”.

Being a Christian means being a Christian when people are looking and also when they not looking.   There is one who is always looking, 24-7 and that is God.   There are many passages in the Bible that speak to these matters, but one strikes me as particularly applicable here.   This was a parable taught by Jesus on how we handle matters that he gave us to take care.

Mathew 25:23:   His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'

The preacher was faithful over a little; it was just a quarter, after all.  You see, most of the time in life, it’s the little things that seem to trip up us.   We concentrate on the big picture so much; we ignore the fact that our actions have an effect on us and on others around us.   Little did the preacher realize that the bus driver was looking for a church where they practiced what they preached.   The driver presented the preacher with an opportunity to succeed or fail and then sat back to see what he would do.  The preacher almost failed, not because there was evil larceny in his heart, he was almost too busy to take care of a little matter, it was just a quarter after all. 

I was employed for years as part of a team that designed freeway and highway construction projects.   There was one particularly large project that involved the realignment of 9 miles of freeway which required many large electrical steel towers to be relocated so construction could proceed.   After a meeting that lasted for hours, the head engineer for the utility company and I sat back and just chatted.   He said to me, “Why is it that we have all these talented and educated people working on these large projects and we plan for every contingency conceivable and a 10 cent bolt screws up the whole thing and brings construction to a halt”.   I smile and told him I noticed that too.   It was just a quarter after all.

In one of the songs we sing at church called “Angry Words”, there is a portion of verse 3 that says “Brightest links of life are broken By a single angry word”.   I know, I have been guilty myself of many of these things.   Many Christians have told me the same thing, there are things we have done we wish we had not.   We need to make a concentrated effort to lead the best life we can, but in the flesh, we cannot lead the perfect life, no one can and God understands that.   I think it is the little things we don’t think about or pay attention too that seem to do the most damage.   For what seemed like just a quarter to the preacher, the bus driver was really laying the foundation for a monumental decision in his life.   See you on Sunday morning, preacher.   No, my friends, it was much more than just a quarter after all.  

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