McDonald's Momentous Moments
By Jack Hunter
(I am bending my own rules a little, but I wanted to include this article written by myself).
I was partaking of my first cup of coffee at a local McDonald’s restaurant, but I had arrived much later than usual. My schedule was altered due to my grandson’s dental appointment. I am home schooling my ten year old grandson and while home schooling has a vast share of rewards it also has its own share of challenges.
This morning I was a little more excited and a little more relaxed than usual. I was excited that I had an extra hour or so to attempt to unscramble about six weeks work of research I had been compiling for my next overdue article, and I was relaxed that I had all this additional time to enjoy my coffee and not rush to pick up my grandson.
The article that I was working on had become more complex and challenging than I previously thought. I was writing about how America was traveling down many roads which were leading straight to Hell, and how she was entangled in web after web of wickedness and moral decay. The more research I did the more I realized that unless a revival breaks out like that of the Great Awakening then we are doomed and there is no indication we are about to experience anything that resembles the Great Awakening, only its antithesis.
America is indeed entangled in a web of her own destruction and I was determined to write about it, yet my notes were entangled also. They were in disarray and jumbled. Trying to compile them into an article was indeed a challenge, especially with my ADD (attention deficit disorder) in full swing, the task was indeed challenging!
I had just had my fourth sip of coffee and was about two minutes into some serious reading when a lady, perhaps two or three years older than me, entered the restaurant. She paused at the door, scanned the patrons who were seated, her eyes moved slowly back and forth, examining everyone in the room. She looked intently at us all, then stopped, and fixed on me. The mysterious lady looked at me a few seconds, at first puzzled, and then as though she recognized me and moved with alacrity and approached my table. She certainly was professional looking, dressed in a navy blue paints suit, well groomed, and was clenching some kind of small object in her hand. The lady stood directly in front of my table with an inquisitive look on her face and enthusiastically asked, if my name was Jack, she then hesitated as if she either did not know my last name or wanted me to supply that information. I could not make out what she was clenching, but I halfway rose from my seated position, thinking perhaps I knew her and said with a certain amount of caution “yes, it’s Jack, Jack Hunter”. I seriously questioned what this lady could want with me, and what was she clutching in her hand. Whatever it was it was small. She began to open her hand to reveal the object she was holding, she certainly had my attention, no it was not a gun, it was brown, and as soon as she opened up her hand, I immediately recognized it as being a wallet - my wallet.
“I found it outside in the parking lot and I came back in and looked around and you looked like the man in the picture on your driver’s license, although you look a little different and you are wearing a hat”. She was kind, it wasn’t the hat that slightly confused her, I had aged a lot, I was much more wizened; it had been almost eight years since the picture was taken and it looked more like sixteen years had passed. But, she was kind as well as astute. “It’s me, Jack Hunter alright”, I said with a voice even more enthusiastic than she had when she first approached me.
I had dropped my wallet getting out of my pickup, and it had been lying outside for at least ten minutes in the parking lot. Like most wallets, it contained numerous items of importance, including three major credit cards, four gasoline credit cards, and of course my drivers license. In addition I had twenty-one dollars in it, a twenty and a one dollar bill.
I had lost my wallet years before and it took weeks to take care of all the ramifications; I was so thankful, delighted, and almost jubilant! What if a dishonest person had found it; the consequences could have been astronomical. “Thank you, thank you very much”, I said repeatedly. After spending at least the next 45 seconds thanking her again to the point of ad nauseum, I paused and questioned myself as to what I should do next.
After a few seconds of silence, I looked down at my wallet and its contents. I glanced at the twenty dollar bill and then I stared at the one. What should I do? I slowly reached in my wallet and handed her the one dollar bill. But I followed it with my callow and proverbial six word cliché, “thank you, thank you very much”; I sounded like Elvis Presley.
She smiled, nodded, and somberly muttered her own little six words: “A dollar for returning your wallet?” She looked at me enigmatically and perplexed and turned and quickly exited the same door she had entered.
As I momentarily ruminated on my sinful and narcissist behavior I got up and started running to the young man at the cash register to ask for change for my twenty so I could give her a ten. Then I stopped, there is nothing more alarming than when the Holy Spirit of God reveals something to you, “What am I doing?” I asked myself aloud. First a one and now a ten, what is wrong with me? As I stood there sullen, in the middle of the floor, I finally became aware of the stingy jerk that I was. “God forgive me” I said quietly as I took out the twenty. I ran out of the establishment in hopes of making amends, to give her the twenty, to say something other than thank you, thank you very much, only to see her driving into the main street with her eyes facing the approaching traffic, not me with my hand in the air, waving the twenty, mouth agape. I just stood there.
I slowly walked back inside and sat back down at my table; I looked down at my notes in front of me, I took a sip of my lukewarm coffee and just stared into nowhere. I realized that my blatant act of selfishness was not as bad as my blatant act of insulting the lady with the pittance I offered her. The entire situation could have been assuaged somewhat if I had left it only with my Elvis impersonation.
I just sat and stared. What caused me to act out this impulse of selfishness? “No writing today”, I said to myself. Even if I managed to write anything I would feel so hypocritical it would be useless. I gulped down what was left of my lukewarm coffee, quickly gathered my notes, and started for the door, but stopped and turned back to the counter, got a refill, and sat back down at the same table. I immediately asked for forgiveness, and I then managed to cull my scattered thoughts together long enough to begin this article?
Have you ever asked yourself why you were doing something or saying something at the very same time you were saying or doing it? Even while I was reaching into my wallet for the one dollar bill, I was asking myself why I was committing this miserly and selfish act. What propels man’s impromptu actions to do something totally contrary to his very nature or is it not contrary at all but germane. It is a mystery why we do some of the things we do at a moment's notice and then berate ourselves for doing them.
What caused me to act with such exigency, to carry out this sudden impulse of selfishness? I looked inside myself and become nauseated, for inside I saw the cesspool that dwells there.
Why did I write this article? Was it so others can see the blackness of my own soul? Was it so that everyone could see just how selfish I really am? Was it for public confession of my sin? All are true, but perhaps just as true is that I hoped when one reads this that he (she) also will look deep into his (her) own soul and see what may lie there. Is there a possible object lesson for more than just me? Maybe others than just me are living a parsimonious life, full of self and emptied of Christ. Maybe several besides me need to remove the offal that lies within. It is when our house is clean; it is when we have removed the plank from our own eye that we can see more acutely as to how to remove the speck in our brother’s.
To the lady I am deeply sorry, and I publicly ask for her forgiveness, but I am just as grateful as I am sorry. I realized that not only did I not lose my wallet, but I gained a new sense of self introspection which has revealed multiple things to repent of as well as giving me a renewed urgency to serve the Lord with a greater zeal. It is only when we see the “undoneness” that we are able to make any kind of repair. I appreciate you nice lady for allowing God to use you to reveal to me the immense amount of work that needs to be done in my character. As I said before, “thank you, thank you very much.”
Note: It has been three days since the encounter at McDonalds but God has used that experience to both reveal all that is inside and rekindle my desire to seek Him to remove all that which is alive. Earlier I used the word “undoneness”; we do not need to be undone, but we do need to be broken. I may be undone and not yet broken but at least I experienced the Master’s chisel which was able to chip away a little at the flesh that strives for dominion. I also pray for brokenness, but I pray it will be as gentle as possible.
Should many of us not ask the question - what do we give in return for all He has given us? While salvation is a free gift, it can never be earned, and trying to earn it is sin in and of itself. However, not giving back to the Lord is a strong indication, a thermometer, as to where we are with the Lord and even if we know the Lord at all. Are we giving a dollar to the Lord when he has given us so much? Am I the only miser in the crowd? How many self-proclaiming Christians have a selfish and parsimonious love, a selfish and parsimonious manner of giving, a selfish and parsimonious manner of reading His Word and a selfish and parsimonious life style? I am guilty of them all! May we all examine ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit of God to reveal what is within.
I thank God for the revelation of my own parsimonious life style, my own “undoneness”, and how I must be placed continuously on His Anvil to restore and reconstruct me closer to His image. I thank Him for the small revival that began to manifest itself in my own being. Thank God for object lessons, thank God for McDonalds Momentous Moments.