Where we live, I often resort to catalogues. The shipping works out about the same as the gas it would cost to go to the store, and when you add in the time, there is no contest. As you might guess, I am not one of those “Born to shop” women. I only shop when I need something. But when a clearance catalogue hits my mailbox, I usually try to think ahead to what I might need in the near future.
Of course you know the problem with clearance catalogues. They only have some of the colors left, in only some of the sizes—usually the weird colors and odd sizes, say, chartreuse size 0 or fluorescent orange plaid size XXXL. If you want the good stuff you have to call in early, preferably the same day you get the catalogue, and have several options on your list. That way you might get one or two things you need in the correct size and a reasonably non-hideous color.
If something is totally free, I am not quite as picky. I had a coupon once for a free 12 pack of one of those odd new Dr Pepper flavors, if I also bought a regular 12 pack. Keith is the Dr Pepper drinker in this house, but he doesn’t like his favorite things fooled around with—not his coffee, not his iced tea, not his Coke, and certainly not his Dr Pepper. I almost did not use the coupon. Then I thought, hey, it’s free! If he doesn’t like it, I can give it to someone else. We were nearly out of drinks and the regular Dr Pepper was on sale, so it was no loss to us if that is what happened.
Isn’t it amazing how people line up for good sales, and go nuts for things that are free, but no one is lining up for the most important free thing there is—eternal life! You can’t even tell anyone about this great deal without them looking at you askance and walking away in the middle of a sentence--or making a pronouncement like, “I don’t discuss religion and politics.”
Unfortunately the majority of the world hasn’t a spiritual bone in its body. People are all too consumed with the here and now, with immediate results, with instant gratification of any and every desire. It’s interesting that Paul calls such people “babies” in his letter to the Corinthians. It takes spiritual maturity, an ability to see beyond the present and to weigh the true importance of things, to understand that this world is not what counts.
A baby will cover his face with a blanket and think no one can see him. He has not yet learned that there is any other perspective than his own. He thinks if he cannot see you, then you cannot see him. That seems to be how many adults live their lives as well. The only things that matter to them are what they are going through, and how it affects them. The self-centeredness of an infant has grown into the selfishness of an adult.
So it is difficult for people to realize that they are sinners in need of salvation. That is the first hurdle to cross. You cannot convert a person who thinks he is spiritually safe. That is why Jesus had more luck with harlots and publicans than with the religious leaders of his day. And the sad thing is that if they could ever realize their need, the solution is free! No coupons needed. Yet they miss the greatest clearance sale ever. Salvation has been on sale for thousands of years. 100% off, totally free.
Don’t let pride and immaturity make you miss the bargain of your life.
So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation, even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life, Rom 5:18.