So I work at a frozen yogurt shop. You know what there’s a lot of in frozen yogurt shops? Frozen yogurt. You know what else? Small children with underdeveloped reasoning skills and parents who don’t seem to notice. So they stick their hands in yogurt and wipe it around various locations within the store. Especially the freaking glass door. Which means I spend a whole lot of freaking time spraying that freaking door with Windex. And I tend to get frustrated with it, since I can’t ever seem to tell which side the freaking stain is on whenever I’m wiping it down. I tend to think, “Oh, this stain’s not going anywhere. It must be on the other side of the glass. Oh well. I’ll do the other side later.” Then I do the other side later and the stain still isn’t gone. So then I give up and let it stay on the window, because I mean, it can always stay on the “other” side for all I care. If it’s not going anywhere, I’m in no hurry to investigate why it’s refusing to be clean. As long as I keep believing it’s not my fault, I have no problem leaving the door like a mess.
And I’m kinda realizing I do this with everything. The can opener’s broken? Well, guess these cans can stay closed today then. It’s not my fault. The light bulb’s broken in the home bathroom? Not my responsibility. Our dining room isn’t even visible under all these papers? Doesn’t mean I should do anything about it.
That girl over there doesn’t have anybody to talk to? How is that my problem? There’s a kid crying himself to sleep tonight because his daddy left today. What am I supposed to do? People are starving, people are being persecuted for their proclamations of faith, people are being judged by the church and starting to hate God, people are thinking about suicide, people are scared to go to school because they’re being bullied. But what am I supposed to do about it? I like to believe that these problems are on the other side of the glass. They’re something I can take care of another time, or perhaps leave for someone else to take care of. I try getting rid of the stains, I really do. I try to help people out, try to understand, try to direct them to Jesus. But as soon as I realize it’s not as easy as I thought it would be to eradicate, I give up. “Well, I tried,” I tell myself. And I leave it, my conscience eased knowing I at least showed some effort.
But if I don’t clean the glass, who will? If I leave it there, it may be erased from my mind, but never from reality. Maybe this is why God talks so much about perseverance. Maybe persevering isn’t just about accomplishing cool things in your life, or getting to the other side of a struggle you’re facing. Maybe it’s about persevering for the sake of the hungry kid and the broken widow. Because if you don’t, who will? Isn’t there some sort of responsibility we have that comes from the power we have in Christ?