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Baloney Sandwiches

P. J. O’Rourke made an interesting observation when he said, “One of the annoying things about believing in free choice and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license.”

This problem of finding somebody upon whom to blame our problems must be the reason so many people want to believe in the devil — for then we can shift the blame by saying, “The devil made me do it.”

There is a story about a construction worker who at least knew whon to blame. When he took his sandwich out of his lunch bag, he looked at it and then threw it on the ground, yelling, “Baloney again! I hate baloney!”When a coworker said, “If you hate baloney so much, just ask your wife to make you something else,” he replied, “That’s the problem. I make my own sandwiches.”

Lots of people continue to make baloney sandwiches for themselves and then act like victims when it’s time to eat them. The baloney sandwich represents things we do to ourselves that make our lives tougher. We need to admit that often we are our own worst enemy.

Another true saying not found in the Bible is, “As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.” Do we have baloney sandwich friends that pull us down rather than lift us up? Do we have baloney sandwich pastimes that draw us away from worthwhile activities? Do we have a baloney sandwich job? We need to either learn to like baloney or choose different friends, different activities, or look for a different job.

God did give us free choice, and He expects us to use the good common sense He gave us to make the right choices. He gave Adam and Eve the right to choose in the Garden of Eden and they made the wrong choice. Their descendants have been making wrong choices ever since. We need to recognize that we are the ones making the choices, and we succeed or fail depending on the choices we ended up making. We are responsible for the baloney sandwiches we make for ourselves.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If we put a baloney sandwich in our lunch box, guess what kind of sandwich we will unwrap? To keep making baloney sandwiches and then be unhappy when we find them is that type of insanity.

We need to remember that as we sow, so shall we reap. Paul tells us, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” Moses said to the children of Israel, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”

It sounds like an easy decision to make. Unfortunately we know that almost all of the children of Israel that were given the choice by Moses at that time made the wrong choice and died in the wilderness instead of marching into the promised land.

Joshua, near the end of his life, threw down a challenge to the descendants of those who heard Moses tell them to choose life. Joshua said, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

We need to admit that the one whose picture is on our driver’s license is responsible for the choices we make in our lives. Then, we need to resolve to stop making baloney sandwiches. Paul tells us, “What did you gain from doing the things that you are now ashamed of? The result of those things is death! But now you have been set free from sin….Your gain is a life fully dedicated to him, and the result is eternal life.”

Let us choose life. Let us free ourselves from those baloney sandwiches and instead choose to say with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Robert J. Lloyd