put your dollar in. push e16. get your snickers. simple enough.
unless it gets stuck on those revolving metal circles. in which case you will probably try to shake the thing and curse it when the snickers is still hanging there. you’ll either sacrifice another dollar in an effort to get your prize or you’ll walk away frustrated, angry and swearing off both candy bars and vending machines. forever. because they are from the devil. am i right?
today is good friday.
i sat down and read the story of the crucifixion this morning. because good christians should do such a thing on days like today. i would like to tell you that my heart was overflowing with thankfulness and i am completely undone by how much jesus has done for me and that i feel the swelling hope that ‘sunday is coming’ and everything that means for my salvation and for my life.
but none of that happened. instead. i realized i treat jesus like a vending machine.
i worship and praise and read my bible and go to the women’s group. and then i make my request. e16, if you would, jesus. i’ll take that perfect job, the healing i’ve been asking for, the husband and 2.5 kids. i’ll take the provision, the relationships, the hope and peace. could i please have the miracle. e16 jesus. i don’t think it’s too much to ask for. afterall, i just put my dollar in. and you know, that dollar was quite a sacrifice. so if you could please oblige with the e16 that’d be great.
but then. the e16 doesn’t come. and i spiral into disappointment and rejection and frustration because of course the machine would break on me. today of all days. because the world hates me and i will never eat another candy bar as long as i live and i hate vending machines. they must be from the devil.
and then i take a nap and have a cup of coffee and give the vending machine another go at it. sometimes it spits out what i’m asking for. it’s usually pretty good to me.
so, here’s the thing that struck me today.
i hate that i still think and act this way. i don’t want to treat jesus like a vending machine. i desperately want the presence of the machine to be enough. whether it ever delivers an e16 or not. i want to be a woman who is thankful and content with the presence. so for as much as he has already done and given, today i’m asking for more. i’m asking for more softening of my still resistant heart. because even that has to be an act of grace. a labor of love.
would my heart and my life be one that puts in the dollar without any expectation of something in return.