Rations took on new meaning the past couple of days in NC. Due to a leak in the supply chain, gasoline is in short supply. Neighbors are using social media to pass information back and forth on which stations have gas and which ones don’t. While newscasts focus on the expected length of the disruption, and the changes companies are making to re-route and “fix” the shortage.
I pulled out that WWII Ration books that Mom and Dad saved tonight. The covers are well worn with paper so soft it feels almost like cloth. Most of them are empty – just names, dates and tabs where the stickers once were. Dad, Mom and even my Big Brother had their own (I was still just a twinkle in their eyes). In the last one, there were still a couple sheets of stamps. Needless to say, it made me wonder how we would do if we had to ration almost everything in our lives like they did during WWII?
And then I remembered: ‘ ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ~Mk 12:31
Rationing is never easy. (I know this because I have to ration my money at the end of every month.) BUT – and this is one huge BUT (so to speak) – praying for those waiting in that line at the gas pump, gives us an opportunity to get – and to give – more than just a tank of gas. Even if that underground tank ends up empty before our own car gets a drop of gas, we’ve accomplished something special.
Rationing in our needy society hurts, but it also is a chance to grow in wisdom and faith. As long as we never Ration our prayer blessings towards others – towards our country – or even towards our enemies, we will be blessed beyond measure. It is after all, one of the greatest commandments.
1942 Daily Ration: Read: Luke 10:30-37
” ‘Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? ‘And he said, ‘He that shewed mercy on him.’ Then said Jesus unto him, ‘Go and do thou likewise.’ “~Luke 10:36-37
“In the summer of 1916 there remained in a certain mission station in China a young English missionary whose four brothers were in the British army, then in combat. About a quarter of a mile from the mission station, two German businessmen had recently moved into a Chinese house. They had come there because of the unfriendly atmosphere in the settlement in which they had been living.
“One morning, one of the German men went for a hike into the hills, and failed to return. His friend could not speak Chinese, and was at a loss to know what to do. The news finally reached the English missionary. This young man knew that all the surrounding hills were infested with mines against the expected approach of the army of a rival war lord. Nevertheless, he went in search of the lost man, and did not give up until he recovered the body.
“That night several of the Chinese Christians were discussing the event. ‘Brethren,’ said one of them, ‘our missionary is a good preacher, we are all agreed; but he never has preached, and never will preach, a sermon like the one he has preached today. Though we should forget every word he has ever said, we can never forget this thing he has done. He has made the gospel live before us.’
“Prayer: Lord, teach us to love and to minister to the needs of all mankind, no matter how they may differ from us or with us. So may we prove that we are thy disciples. Amen.”