I think I told you before that my grandfather repeated himself a lot. Did I already tell you that? Here is one of the stories he repeated frequently.
It’s lunchtime in the factory. A couple guys open their lunch buckets. One of them unwraps a sandwich and then throws it back into the lunch bucket in disgust. “Peanut Butter. Every day lousy Peanut Butter. I hate that stuff.”
The other guys says; “Why don’t you tell your wife to pack something different if you don’t like peanut butter?”
He growls, “I pack my own lunch.”
That’s it. That’s the whole joke. I always laughed with my grandpa to make him happy, but I never thought the joke was that funny, not that I didn’t understand the joke. It made sense to me, it just wasn’t that funny.
The other morning Holly was packing a peanut butter sandwich for her lunch and I remembered my grandpa’s lame joke.
After all these years, and applying my very best storytelling skills, that joke still isn’t funny but it does make more sense now. I have been a pastor for thirty years and I have noticed there are a lot of people who are angry every day. They live with a little edge. They have a short fuse. They sputter and spout and keep everyone around them on-edge, but when you get down to the heart of things, they really did pack their own lunch.
Hurts in this life are inevitable. Hardships are unavoidable. Pain is a part of living. Sinners are going to sin against you and you will have your own regrets to live with, but you don’t have to put it all in your lunch box every day. You don’t have to make it a regular part of your every day.
In Christ you have the means to forgive and heal and move on. When you get right down to it, you pack your own lunch every day.
When I think of this I hear the words of Ephesians 4:32 in my mother’s voice: “…be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Every day you pack your own lunch.
May 31, 2010