Whiskey, Lottery Tickets, Porn, and Skunk Carcass

Whiskey, Lottery Tickets, Porn, and Skunk Carcass

When you see the title “Whiskey, Lottery Tickets, Porn, and Skunk Carcass” you probably are thinking… That’s odd! or clickbait! or Ryan has lost his mind!

If you are thinking any or all the above, you may be right.

What do all those things have in common?

They are all things that stink either literally or figuratively. Obviously. Let’s dig a little deeper than the obvious.

After turning 40, I noticed that I needed to find a new way to stay in shape. It took me a few years to figure out what would work for me. I started running a year ago. When I say “running” I am being very generous. My running may resemble more of a wounded duck waddling along the road than a fine-tuned middle-aged athlete. My body was not made for long-distance running. That being said I love the challenge and it gets me the workout that I need.

Regardless of my lack of style, I try to run the equivalent of a 5K (3.1 miles) about four to six days a week.

If you know me well, you know that I am a creature of habit. I eat the same thing for breakfast every day, oatmeal. I eat the same thing for lunch every day, Fit Crunch Protein Bar. I need my caffeine fix every day and I don’t drink coffee so my drug of choice is Coke Zero. I also run the same exact 5K route every day. In a year I have only ever run a different route once. I tried to go a different route, but I hated it! Routine brings me comfort.

My routine 5K route brings past the intersection of 44th Street and Vernon Ave at nearly the two-mile mark daily. This intersection sits between a cemetery and a middle school building.

I see a lot of things on my 5K route. What I tend to see at this intersection tends to be a collection of things that stink. It really is odd how much litter ends up at this intersection. Things like empty whiskey bottles and mounds of scratched losing lottery tickets. For some reason, these two litter items are constant at this intersection. Not long ago in addition to the bottles and tickets, there was a rain soak porn magazine and a skunk carcass. You could smell the skunk carcass for several blocks in each direction.

I began thinking about all these items. Yes, they all stink. I kind of felt sorry for the dead skunk though its smell was offending my nose. I didn’t, however, feel sorry for the person, or people, that had been chucking the litter out their car windows. In fact, it started making me feel angry.

I began to think about these deplorable things that are littering the side of the road. The people throwing them out the window must have zero respect for creation. I even entertained the thought of parking in the middle school parking lot and conducting a good old-fashioned stakeout. I wanted to catch these people in the act. I wanted to tell them how wrong they are for littering, disrespecting God’s creation and humanity in general.

Then God began to convict me

I almost felt as if the Holy Spirit was speaking to me as I was running down Vernon Ave. The Holy Spirit was telling me, “Ryan these people that anger you and you want to label as deplorable are people I created and love. In fact, I love them so much I decided to die for them.”

Ouch! God reminded me of Romans 5:8. “But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

He reminded me that He loved me so much that He decided to send His Son to die for me too.

  • How often do sit back and judge others?
  • How often do we label others unfairly?
  • How often do we think we know what is best?
  • How often do we think we should be able to tell God what He should do?

I found myself guilty of all these things. I’m thankful that God was patient with me.

My Challenge to You

Ask yourself to see people the way that God sees them. How much differently would your day to day be if you were to see others the way that God sees them? It is my belief that it would revolutionize our lives if we did this.

 

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