A young boy reaching into the shopping cart for butter demonstrated, in a moment, what I believe is the story of mankind. He reached up through the bars to grab the butter, in the child seat area of the cart, and found himself stuck. He had grabbed the box of butter, but couldn’t get it and his hand out from between the bars; so he screamed. Of course this sent mom and grand-mom into high alert. Grandma reached over and shook the butter loose from his hand, turned it a little bit, and out came his hand. The screaming was over; he looked around for a second and was onto another adventure.

   This little incident made me think about how we have all behaved at times collectively and individually. The whole history of Israel goes something like this: idol worship, sin and then bondage. Finally the bondage would get to be too much and they would cry out to God. Of course he would send a deliverer, and they would be free for a while. Then you guessed it. They would find themselves back in the same cycle of sin-idol worship-bondage-cry out-get delivered-freedom-sin-idol worship-bondage…

    With this little boy-he saw the butter, wasn’t suppose to have it, wanted it anyway, reached for it, got stuck, cried out to be delivered and he was set free. I would like to tell you he never did such a thing again, but I think we both know better than that don’t we? I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole scenario played out again in the very next isle.

   If we are honest we could all tell of our own similar story. The truth is this whole cycle is good for us in a way. After all, if we didn’t find ourselves stuck in something that required a savior we would never have gotten to know Jesus Christ and the cross which is the only real solution to our bondage. Without our trying and failing to achieve what we thought we wanted, and the inevitable consequences, we would never come to see he is what we wanted all along.

   Just like that little boy we have to learn to let go of whatever it is that keeps getting us stuck before we will ever be truly free. You see he had to drop the butter or he never would have been able to get his hand out. Sometimes I think we’re attempting to hold onto the very thing that binds us and want freedom too. It can’t work that way. If we’re going to cry out to be saved we have to turn from our sin and idols to the living God. That is true repentance and the path to real freedom.   

Written by Louie


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