Stopping For A Penny
I had just said the words to my daughter.
I love to find a penny on the ground.
I said those words to her as I was bending down to pick up a penny I saw.
Was it heads up, Mom? She asked me.
It was, I admitted.
There was the old wives tale about good luck if you found a penny that was heads up.
None of that interests me.
I simply like to find a penny as I walk along.
The shinier the better.
Heads up is more fun to find than heads down.
Some people pass right over a penny that has been dropped.
I never do.
Some may think it is silly.
Pennies aren’t worth much, they may say.
I think that is why I like them.
Who dares despise the day of small things? (Zechariah 4:10)
I saw a woman in the parking lot.
She was at her car and something caught her eye.
She actually walked back to see whatever it was.
I know this because I had to wait for her before I could pass.
She bent down and picked something up from the ground.
I knew without even seeing what was in her hand that she picked up a penny.
Kindred spirits, I found myself thinking.
It did not matter to her or to me that I was waiting because a penny needed to be picked up.
Sometimes, when my husband leaves for work, I tell him to wait.
I go over and pick a lone thread off his shirt or his pant pocket.
He just gives me a look.
He looks down and sees the thread in my hand.
My son’s dog will find the tiniest crumb on the floor.
A baby will pick at a thread on the carpet.
Someone will vacuum over the same stubborn string that will not release its grasp.
Someone else will go over a window they just cleaned because of a streak that is still there.
Often, we do not know why we do what we do.
It could be that we do something out of habit.
It could be that we do something because it annoys us if it is not done.
It could be that there is simply pleasure in the routine of it all.
Why do we pick a certain parking space over another?
Why do we choose one table over another in a restaurant?
Why do we go in one direction in the grocery store and struggle if we went the other direction?
Why are we creatures of habit?
Why do we choose this dressing room over that one?
Why do we pick this bunch of bananas over that bunch?
Why do we load the dishwasher this way and not that way?
Do we ever think about why we do what we do?
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:14-25)
Picking up pennies, choosing a parking space, or loading the dishwasher is insignificant.
Sometimes we do things because that’s just the way we have always done it.
However, when it comes to our obedience to God, it matters greatly.
It is not enough that we always did it that way.
What does God say?
That question should be the litmus test for our actions.
If we consider what God says in His Word, we will not do something just out of habit.
We will do things to please our heavenly Father.
We are not perfect.
We still sin.
The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to choose righteousness.
The motive for our actions is to please God our Father even in the small things.