Published October 27, 2009
"Back to Basics"
This week I went into our local convenience store for a cappuccino. I took my large reusable mug, filled it and went to the counter to pay. I gave the lady a dollar. She took my money, rang up the sale and then stood there with a horrified look on her face.
I waited a moment and then asked, "Is something wrong?"
"I punched in exact change.'"
I still didn't understand the big problem. She still held my dollar bill in her hand, so she knew what I had paid. The register still read 84 cents as the cost of the drink.
She continued to look around in desperation. The clerk beside her was waiting on a customer. My clerk's face registered pure panic.
Finally, it dawned on me that she didn't know how much change to give me. I quietly told her, "It's 16 cents. I get this drink most days."
Her face lit up and she said, "Thanks." She gave me my change and I left the store.
If I were assigned to teach math to 20-year-olds, it would not have crossed my mind to start with a simple story puzzle like this: "If the customer gives you a dollars for her 84 cent cappuccino, what is the change you return to her?" I think we studied that in second grade. I'd assume any 20-year-old would know the answer.
This was a reminder to me that we don't always know someone's foundation of knowledge in school subjects, in life or in spiritual matters.
Recently one of our Canadian listeners sent an actual story to me. Here it is:
"Several years ago I was in church one morning and had the chance to chat with a young woman. I don't know her age exactly but I think she was about 19. She was so excited to tell us that on that morning, she finally understood that the baby Jesus in the manger was the same Jesus who died on the cross. I was shocked and saddened that in the Bible Belt of Canada she hadn't heard and understood that basic truth until that moment. This is my challenge to the singers and songwriters, compose and perform music that reaches people like that young lady, those who know nothing of our Savior and our Faith."
I would take that a step farther to remind preachers to preach the basics of the Bible, to remind Sunday School teachers to teach the basics of scripture and to remind each one of us as Christians to share basic fundamentals of the Bible and Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 3:11 tells us what foundation needs to be laid "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
Comments on this? firstname.lastname@example.org .
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