Friday, June 17, 2011
My Rewards Card
I had a sweet surprise yesterday. I had lunch scheduled with a new friend at Panera and as I was getting ready I remembered I had a "My Panera" rewards card I had gotten some time back and never registered. I had a few extra minutes before I left home so I pulled out the old laptop and went to their web site and quickly did so.
On my last few previous visits to Panera the nice person ringing my order up would ask me for the card but I would have to tell them each time "I haven't registered it yet". They would proceed to tell me "that's your card, go online, claim it and you can get the great random surprise rewards that come with it".
So what I noticed was when I was online registering the card was that the information told me that I would want to check back from time to time to keep up with what surprises might randomly be loaded onto my card at any time. Well to my delight, by the time I left home and got to Panera I already had one on there! When I placed my order, the nice person ringing me up asked me as usual for my 'My Panera' card. I presented it, he swiped it, and said "You have a reward to claim Mrs Lykins - you can have a free pastry or cookie of your choice".
Wow!!! Something I didn't do anything for it really, no grand task on my behalf, no specific dollar amount tied to it. No great effort of my part. I just acknowledge I wanted the card and BAM - I got a surprise, a reward, a gift.
It's sort of like Jesus. I just acknowledge Him and my need for Him and BAM - I receive the instant gift of Salvation. No task to perform, no works, no money, no real effort on my part aside from acceptance, saying I wanted it. Its like I have a "My Jesus" card. When I feel weak, afraid, lonely, worried, consumed with anything I am trying to do or get through in my own strength I can go to Him, pray (swipe the "My Jesus" card so to speak), and just allow Him to reload that card with His strength, wisdom, love, and courage.
But then I also thought about those around us, walking beside us in church, at work, in school, in the local grocery store, some complete strangers... they have a card too. They need it reloaded. And Jesus can use me to help do that. He can use them to help refill mine. A kind word, spontaneous service, a hug, an anonymous surprise gift.
What if the older gentlemen in the aisle next to me who looks a little lost is discovering what it feels like to shop for the first time since losing the love of his life? He could probably really use a sweet word from a stranger - a surprise loaded on his card that leaves him feeling less alone as he makes his way home.
Maybe at church that young woman walks in that I see every week, but this time there's a different look on her face. A look of strain, stress, maybe desperation. What if I take just a moment and reload her card with a hug and a whispered prayer? Now she can enter in more open to finding the peace and rest waiting on her.
John 14:12 "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father."
Proverbs 16:24 "Kind words are like honey--sweet to the soul and healthy for the body."
Look for a way to reload someones card every day. Give that random sweet surprise, that reward, just because... because they are each one whom God loves.