Bright Leaf Hotdogs…they will always hold a “special” place in my heart…kinda…sorta….
For the last several years, our family has ventured to Raleigh in October for our annual state fair. Each of us have our own favorite thing about this day – some of us enjoy all the fried foods that only a fair can offer (one family member in particular); some look forward to all the craft exhibits, while others enjoy the livestock and judging. We ALL like to go through the indoor exhibit halls that have all the free food samples…yumm!
One particular trip to the fair – the year before last – my dear, sweet, loving, kind, not to mention compassionate family decided to have a little fun with this Momma. Now, I will say right off, it was not the idea of everyone in the beginning. No. The ring leader was none other than my #3 son himself who very sneakily patted me on the back while applying a big “Bright Leaf Hotdogs” sticker. However, the entire family soon became accomplices to the crime as they smiled, snickered, took pictures with their cell phones (can you believe it?) and above all, never once said a word to this Momma…
Here I go, walking through crowds of people, oooing and ahhhing with our grandson, laughing with the kids, enjoying the time with my “precious” family while returning the smiles of other fair-goers… Wait a minute. Were some of those people smiling at ME…me and my hotdog sticker??? It wasn’t until AFTER we had left the fairgrounds that the sticker was brought to my attention. I guess I do need to be thankful that they didn’t let me wear it into Cracker Barrel! 🙂 Sigh…families…boys, especially!
I recalled that incident this morning as I read in Matthew 7:3-5, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” How often do we go about our day wearing big stickers for the entire world to see? Here we are, walking around with a big smile on our face and a big sticker on our back. No, the sticker doesn’t say, “Bright Leaf Hotdogs”. It might say “envy” or “pride” or “rebellion” or “hatred” or “greed” or “lust” or “deceit”…you know, those sins that are “hidden”, yet stand out to others like a big ol’ sticker on our backs. More importantly, they stand out to the One Who “trieth the hearts and reins” Psalm 7:9 We are convinced that we have “arrived”, spiritually speaking, yet very much blinded to the sin in our own lives. In the meantime, however, our vision is 20/20 when it comes to spotting the “stickers” on the backs of others.
It has often been said that everyone has spiritual blind spots. A “blind spot” could be thought of as a sticker right in the center of our backs where it is impossible for us to see…unless…we use mirrors. God’s Word is likened to a mirror [glass] in James 1:23 – “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” These verses are comparing two men – the first man who looks into God’s Word, sees areas in his life that need changed yet walks away unchanged. And, the second man who also looks into the mirror of God’s Word, sees sin that has crept into his heart and, in obedience to God’s Word, makes changes in his life. The Bible says that the latter man will be blessed for his obedience!
Back to that sticker…think about it. When the children finally showed mercy on this Momma by informing me of what I had been wearing, how very SILLY it would have been for me to have an attitude of, “No. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know about it. Just let me continue wearing this hotdog sticker.” Having that attitude would be just like the first man in the above verses who looked into that glass, saw his sin, and just continued on in disobedience. The BIG difference is, refusing to remove a hotdog sticker would be silly but refusing to deal with known sin is a serious matter that, among other things, will hinder prayers from being answered as well as rob us of God’s blessings. May each of us not only look into God’s Mirror on a continual basis, but do so with a desire to remove any “stickers” we may find.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23,24
~ Rachel ~