My Toothpaste Never Runs Out

Some things seem to last forever and never run out. You can always seem to get a little more out of them.

About two weeks ago I put toothpaste on the grocery list because I was running out.

I actually thought that I was going to squeeze the last out of the tube before we made a grocery run, but every day for the last two weeks there’s still been just a little more in the tube – just enough for one more brushing.

And every day I’ve thought that this was the last, but I keep getting enough for one more.

It’s like overnight it manufactures more toothpaste – not a lot mind you, but just enough for the next time I clean my teeth.

It’s like the Energizer bunny on the commercials; it just keeps going and going and going.

I have a razor that takes a battery and that thing lasts forever, too.

Oil also has that same characteristic. Have you ever put oil in your car and had to wait for the bottle to empty so you could cap the oil spout and get on your way?

You could stand there for ten minutes and there would still be a tiny stream of oil coming from that bottle.

It’s like the Old Testament story when the prophet told the widow to have her sons collect jars to put oil in. She kept pouring oil into the jars until she ran out of jars.

Finally the oil stopped flowing.

That was a miracle … even though it followed the pattern of how oil works.

I will tell you one thing that doesn’t have this forever principle and that is gas in your gas tank.

I’ve tested the theory out several times in my life and you can get the needle on the gas tank pretty low, usually even below the last mark on the gauge.

But if you push it, you’re going to run out of gas.

Probably the worst time that happened to me was about 9 pm one night when I was coming home from visiting a family. It was pouring rain and I ran out of gas on a fairly busy street.

I had to call home and have my son come to the rescue with a can of gas. … I got the impression that he was not too happy about it, especially about pouring the gas into the tank while getting seriously soaked.

But toothpaste keeps going. Today is the last morning I will be using this tube, but before I throw it in the garbage I’m going to see if I can squeeze one more dab out of it.

It’s not that I’m all that miserly when it comes to toothpaste. I don’t really think about it and hence, that’s why I’m still wringing out the last little blob.

… which gets me thinking, “How do they get toothpaste in there in the first place?” That’s a whole other blog post.

Here’s the thing: The grace of God works much the same way. When you think that you have run out of God’s favour, when you think that God couldn’t possibly forgive you, or have anything to do with you, there is just enough grace for that time. Don’t ever give up or look elsewhere; you can always find grace when you seek Him authentically.

That’s Life!

Paul

Question: When have you received unexpected grace? Leave your comments below.

Running Shoes Don’t Last Forever

I guess the life expectancy of my running shoes had reached its limit and then some.

I can’t remember when I bought them, but I do remember buying a pair about 22 years ago. I can’t say for sure that the runners I have now are those, but let’s just say I’ve had this pair for a very, very long time.

There was a time when I would go through a pair of running shoes every year. They were my go-to, every day shoes.

Since then I find I don’t run very much, so they just stay in the closet, collecting dust until I go on my treadmill or rowing machine. … I guess that’s why I’ve been able to keep them so long.

This year though, I decided to play baseball, so out came my trusty running shoes.

I wore them every Monday this spring and summer, but these shoes will never feel my feet inside them again.

Last Monday they simply disintegrated. I don’t know why they chose this past week to break down and I don’t know why they blew up all at once instead of gradually.

When I put them on before ball, they seemed to be in really good shape. I had no thoughts of needing to replace them this year at all.

The only thing I can think of is that the infield was made of red clay and was pretty wet … and we were just taking batting practice.

The pattern was to hit 10 balls, take a break while another guy hit ten, and then hit another 10 balls.

It might have been a combination of things, including extended time in the batter’s box dragging my toe through the wet clay as I swung through the pitch.

For the first 10 balls, I decided to hit right-handed. I noticed that a bunch of clay had gotten up inside the tread on one shoe.

For the next ten, I decided to hit my natural way – left-handed – and this time it was the other shoe that filled up with clay under the tread.

I then took my turn fielding balls.

By the time I finished my next at bat, the soles of my shoes were flapping like the tongue of a big old dog who’d just finished slurping down his dinner meal.

I walked back to my car feeling like I was wearing clown shoes! It was such an odd feeling.

The shoes were done, finished, not even good enough to cut the grass in.

Last night I went out looking for a new pair of running shoes. Cross trainers seem to be the type of shoe best suited to my activities. … $100 later and I’m ready for baseball next week.

Here’s the thing: In life, most of the time, we manage just fine. We even handle struggles with not too much sweat. But every once in a while the wheels fall off, the shoes disintegrate, life blows up in our face. This happens when we are least expecting it, usually when we are not ready for it. If you’re not in the habit of turning to God, you can really find yourself lost, floundering, panicked. Begin a relationship with God today – if you haven’t done so already – because He can put your life back together.

That’s Life!

Paul

Question: What unexpected thing has blown up in front of you? Leave your comments below.

I Was Stuck At This Red Light Forever

The other night I was stuck at a red light for an inordinate amount of time.

I was on my way to our cottage for my yearly planning retreat. On one stretch of highway, that is only one lane in each direction, there was work being done on a bridge.

I don’t know what it is with little bridges but they seem to be the hardest things in the world to fix. It takes months and months and, in some cases, years to repair them.

This bridge is no exception., I think they could build a huge suspension bridge over a vast canyon quicker than completing the repair work to this bridge.

With the work being done on the bridge, it is down to one lane … That’s it! – one lane for traffic going in both directions.

This bridge is maybe only 30 feet in length, but it completely controls the traffic flow.

When I got to the bridge, and saw about 10 vehicles ahead of me, I naturally thought we would get our chance to cross the bridge in no time.

At first I didn’t even put the car in park; I just kept my foot on the brake. I didn’t think this would take long at all.

Boy was I wrong! The cars coming the other way just kept coming. The worst part was there were breaks in the traffic.

Seven, eight or nine cars would pass by going south and then there would be nothing. Every time there was a break, I thought, “Okay, the light changed and now it’s our turn to go.”

No. Just when I thought it would be time for us to start moving, I would see headlights coming from the other direction and another 10, maybe 12 cars, would drive by.

Ten minutes we waited with no sign that we were going to get a green light in the next little while … or month!

But there was a sign of hope.

Just a few yards ahead of me was a gravel road. I quickly looked at the maps on my phone and made a real fast decision to cut out of the line and take a detour.

No one else was doing it but I thought, “Someone has to start it up.”

I cut out of the line and made a break for it. The detour took me about 10 minutes but I came out well beyond the traffic interruption.

When I got to the crossroads to join up with the original highway I had been on, there was a stop light and I had to make a left turn.

As I waited for the light to turn green – because, of course, there was no way I would get a green light when I approached the intersection – I noticed a truck pass by.

I had a suspicion that I’d seen that truck before.

After I got back on the highway, and caught up to the traffic, I was sure it was the same truck. … And I was in the exact same position behind the truck as I was when we had been stuck at the light.

I didn’t gain one inch.

Here’s the thing: Impatience gets us to act, but sometimes our actions don’t really do us any good. When we are impatient with God, our impatience can lead us to take action that just gets in the way of what God is doing. It might delay things further or worse, it could set us back. Wait on God and don’t let your impatience cause you to try to circumvent God’s plan.

That’s life!

Paul

Question: What delays have caused you to be impatient with God? Leave your comments below.