We just got back from vacation and we made a lot of stops along the way. We visited a few museums and a couple other places. It seems everywhere we went there was that familiar arrow, the sign…EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP. Not a simple suggestion to visit…NOPE…it was basically exit through the gift shop OR set off the alarm on the Fire Exit.
The whole objective is to shake you for some extra money one more time after already paying for the museum ticket. I have to admit, I love going through the gift shop and I typically don’t really buy anything. Sure, I’ll take a moment to smell the cedar trinket boxes. Your kids will NEVER wear that tri-corner hat unless needed for a book report. I’ll also laugh at the CD’s they sell with the music of the museum…space sounds, fife and drum…steel drums that while it put you in the atmospheric mood there, you’ll NEVER listen to it again at home.
The things in a gift shop are usually cheaper knick-knacks they mark up with a higher cost that makes for a great memory at the time but wasted money found under the kids bed a month later. You’ve been there, right? The souvenir gift shop? Then, Goodwill-ing the giant novelty pencil stuck in a junk plastic “BIG” apple from NYC, the mini antiqued copper Liberty Bell or snow globe of Niagara Falls? Even the cedar box loses its aroma.
Why the light diatribe on gift shops? Because it has a spiritual application, that’s why…really…honestly!
As Christians we are only visiting this planet. While we’re here, as the church, the body of Christ, each one of us receives different gifts to use that maybe another didn’t get. God has given us certain specific gifts through the Holy Spirit that we are to use individually or as a whole body for God’s glory and His purpose.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
I can only hope we use the gifts God has given us, but unfortunately some people act as if the gifts given have been “slipped under their bed” and go unused.
What about our final EXIT from this life?? As for this world, I’d sooner pass straight through this world’s gift shop without looking back over anything. There is nothing that visiting this world can offer me that I’d want to take with me as I leave. The thrills it offers are cheap and the cost way too high.
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So, we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
I don’t need replicas of relics of old things…I have become NEW! I guess in a way…I have gone through the Fire Exit!
Be Bold, Be Blessed,