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Think you're having a bad day? I read this last week that thousands of commuters were left stranded in New York after a man got his hand stuck down a train toilet trying to retrieve his cell phone.
The man spent 90 minutes with his arm wedged in the u-bend trying to reach the phone he had dropped. The 6:19 pm train had just left New York 's Grand Central Station when a passenger alerted the crew to the man's plight.
A supervisor boarded the train and, as it traveled about 50 blocks north, the crew tried desperately to free the man's arm from the stainless steel toilet. After another 20 minutes of struggling, police and firefighters were called.
The train was brought to a halt at the city's Fordham station, where it blocked the line while the rescue operation went on. Other trains were unable to pass, which meant thousands of commuters were delayed.
After trying a number of different methods to free the arm, firefighters had to dismantle the entire toilet.
The humiliated man was treated at a local hospital but soon released. He never found his cell phone.
Forgive the possible reach here, but this story reminds me of a Biblical principle of which many of us need to be reminded. The principle is not: 'cell phones and bathrooms do not mix'. It goes a little deeper than that- something like this:
There are some things in life that once dropped, are better off left behind.
In this case it was a cell phone that obviously was gone, departed, vanished, no more. There was no earthly reason and certainly no sanitary reason for this man to try and retrieve something that would never be the same again (would YOU want to use a phone that had been on a journey like that???).
In our case it is something else that is meant to be gone. Like a bad relationship. We hung on to it for a while, but pretty soon it became apparent that this person is quickly pulling us away from our Savior. Or maybe it was a bad attitude that got flushed. You used to enjoy showing people how angry you could get. Made you feel real good when you could shout people down or intimidate them with your protruding blood vessels. But now that's gone, because you realized that you're killing yourself and your relationship with God and others. Or possibly it's a habit- a lifestyle- a destructive future goal- anything that used to be in your life, but for whatever reason it's gone.
Then comes that one moment of decision: should I go back for it or not? The man on the subway could have turned around and walked away. Believe me, he and thousands of others wish that he would have. Instead, something inside convinced him that jamming his arm down a public toilet somehow made sense in the grand scheme of things.
We are sometimes in the same spot, folks. There's that moment when we think 'things we're better when I was with that person', 'I miss being angry all the time', etc. - and we wonder if we should go back. It is during those moments that we need to remember this: some things are better off left behind.
This is something that the Apostle Paul went through- and here's what he had to say about it:
Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant--dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him (Philippians 3:8-9 The Message).
In Paul's mind, once things were gone- they stayed that way. In fact, looking back and reminiscing about the past was like picking through the trash... or reaching down a toilet I guess.
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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