About once a week I go to my local coffee shop that is part of a big chain.
When I fly fish Turtle Creek I stop in the Dallas version and enjoy a 15 minute vacation. At that location there is a sign that says they offer “Fifteen Minute Vacations.”
That’s an awesome concept that I really like. I like it so much, probably because I have not been on a real vacation in a long time, so the idea that I can slip away for 15 minutes and spend $4.33 (tall dark roast and a morning bun) on a vacation is more than a blessing.
Last week while I was people watching, studying and dodging the guy across from me who was coughing up a lung without regard for my morning bun — or the rest of us who are healthy and breathing — I saw a woman come in to collect the day old bread.
I already knew that one of our great local nonprofits got to collect this food and then gives it away at their food pantry. (I guess in my old age I have become a bleeding heart liberal when it comes to some social issues – please don’t tell the GOP — and if you are the guy in town with the bumper sticker that says, “I vote Republican because we can’t all be on welfare” you might want to stop reading).
But you know me, I am going to ask the question: why does Bedford Falls give the leftovers to people who can’t afford a 15 minute vacation?
My in-laws think I am snooty (which is not true). I am just guessing the people that receive these day-old goods are extremely thankful to receive them and enjoy participating in first world problems like having great chocolate banana bread, regardless of how old it is (it is low fat by the way), but I don’t eat leftovers so I wonder why others should have to eat leftovers (I am not a snoot, really).
Maybe I just suffer from a guilt complex and need to join the club that doesn’t care.
And maybe I need to stop trying to get you on my bandwagon because after all, we believe in democracy, capitalism and survival of the fittest.
What I mean to say is if people choose to not be like you and like me and work hard for their daily bread and they choose to settle for the leftovers, what does it matter (is it only Jesus, Jimmy Carter and me who care?)
Let’s dive into the deep end of the pool for a minute.
Change starts with me (and you).
I can’t invite everyone to come to the coffee shop with me, but I can invite my neighbors one at a time to enjoy what I enjoy – a 15-minute vacation that only costs me $4.33.
What if – what if you could change Bedford Falls for only $8.66.
Would you do it?
Ken Ansell is the pastor of Community Life Church in Waxahachie.