Not to long ago I shared a story in a sermon. It was about a man who wanted some gas in a strange city. He saw a station and pulled in to fuel up. He saw an open pump and stopped in front of it. Just then a man ran out of the building and began filling up his car. He thought about how great this service was until the man told him the total for the gas. Apparently he had pulled into the full service line and his great service came at a price. He was disgusted with the station, with himself and with life in general. All day long he thought about how much money he had wasted at the simple fill up. As a result he was angry with the lady at the restaurant, the man at the store and everyone else he had come in contact with that day.
That night when he finally hit the bed he took out a pen and piece of paper and did some real math. He suddenly realized his entire day was ruined for a little over seven dollars. Then he made the realization that he sold all of his joy that day for seven lousy bucks.
I reflect on that story this week. You see, my son forgot to lock his locker during basketball practice. He came back to find that his iPod had been stolen along with $30 cash for a total loss of around $300. Honestly, it makes me sad, angry and frustrated all at the same time. I could spend the rest of the week trying to get revenge or catch the criminal. We did go to the school principal and then to the police station. Even with that done I am not trying to dwell on it. I am not going to let some two-bit teen criminal rob me of joy. I am trying to remind myself this week that my joy is not for sale – at any price.