The VOICE of Inspiration
By Don Lindsey
A few years ago, I was watching a preacher on T.V with my father. The man’s name escapes me now, but he told a story/joke about a bunch of school children who were walking into the cafeteria for lunch one day. Upon entering the room, they saw a table with a huge bowl of apples with a sign that read; “Take only one. Jesus is watching!” After finishing their meals, they saw another bowl, this one filled with cookies by the exit that read; “Take what you want, Jesus is watching the apples.”
I still laugh every time I think of that joke but unfortunately, I had that mindset for many years before I accepted Jesus as my savior. I always thought that God would only look after the folks who only took one apple (made good decisions) and obeyed His word religiously (pardon the pun) while ignoring the people who were greedy and made poor choices regularly. Once I truly gave my life to God, I understood that He watches us all and wants to help. All we need to do is ask.
Sounds easy right? Well, I had a bit of an ego issue that kept me from asking for help for the longest time. I figured the Lord would be proud of me for working out my problems on my own, but even the slightest problems seemed overwhelming. I turned to alcohol and drugs for relief but never truly found it and only ended up doing a lot of harm to myself in the process. I wasn’t aware of that at the time and it wasn’t until after I quit drinking in 2001 that I started to see how empty my life had been.
I’m not saying that all my troubles went away when I stopped boozing, but with my head a little clearer, I started to recognize the toxic nature of my actions and started to want more of my life. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I’d ever get more out of that life and became a bit of a recluse only exiting my room to help my parents or take care of something that they needed. I distanced myself from my family so much that I’m not sure they ever learned who I really am as a person. Not their fault, I stayed away from pretty much everyone except for a couple of my closest friends.
Once my wife and I started seeing each other, that all changed.
I can remember praying after her first visit and thanking God that He had put Tammy back into my life and asking for guidance so that she and I could get the most out of our relationship. Again, I wasn’t sure how that could happen because I was taking care of my parents and did not want to leave them, but I believe that He had a plan and all the right things fell into place allowing me to move down here with them following suit a couple of years later.
Jesus was watching and when I allowed Him to work, my life improved dramatically.
I guess the moral of the story for me is that no matter what I’m doing in life, God is ready to help when I’m ready to let Him. When I want more out of my life and try to control things on my own, He waits patiently for me to realize that I can’t go it alone. When I submit my concerns and stress to Him, He takes it away and always amazes me with how my problems work themselves out. I’m still human and therefore don’t always make great decisions but even in those type of situations, God will help when asked. Whether I’m taking cookies or apples, The Lord is watching, and he has a plan.
I’m not alone in this journey. He watches after all of us so when you need a hand, just remember He’s ready to offer one. God bless and have a great week.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.