Tuesday, July 6, 2010


This past Saturday, I was driving from Edgefield to my parents home near Easley, SC. I was going there for their annual July 4th celebration. This has been a tradition in our family since I was a very young kid. There’s a lot of family, friends, food and fireworks and we always have a great time. My wife and kids were driving in from the beach to meet me there, so I was trying to arrive near the time they would.

I left my house, turned onto Buncombe Street and headed toward Greenwood. Before I could get out of town, I noticed several little girls holding signs in front of a table. Can you guess what was written on the signs? If you guessed “Lemonade,” you are correct.

The signs were very well done. The letters were large and readable, the cost for a cup of lemonade was displayed prominently, and the girls were really holding them high. They were situated right along the sidewalk so access was easy. The whole thing was a great lesson in marketing.

I drove by and thought, “How cute. I really should stop and buy some lemonade. No, I can’t. I have a two-hour drive ahead of me, and I need to get there as soon as I can.” I made it all the way to the DOT office before I turned around to go back. I realized if I’m too busy to stop and buy lemonade from a kid on the side of the road, then I really am “too busy!”

I went back to the lemonade stand. As I drove up, I noticed another sign that read, “Ice Cold Lemonade.” I thought, “Yeah, right! On a day like today, I’ll be lucky to get lukewarm lemonade.” I walked up to the girls, one already had a cup in her hand and asked, “How many?” I replied that I only wanted one. She went right to work, filling the cup, while another told me the price was 25 cents. I gave her 50 cents and told her to keep the other quarter.

When I got my cup, I was impressed. It was filled to the top, had lots of ice in it, and was garnished with a lemon slice. I thanked them as I walked back to the truck and took a drink. Wow! The lemonade was wonderful! It was ice cold, just as they had advertised. However, I got so much more than I expected. I received great service, happy smiles and a warm feeling that the world may not be so bad after all.

I took two things away from this encounter that I want to share with you. First of all, sometimes we simply need to slow down. How much of the things around us do we miss because we are in a hurry to get somewhere or do something? I arrived at my parent’s house in plenty of time to enjoy the festivities. In fact, I was there before my wife and kids were.

Secondly, be sure that whatever you are advertising is what you are actually producing. Those girls advertised, “Ice Cold Lemonade” and that is exactly what I was served. Make sure that if you are going to wave the banner of being a Christian over your life, that you are showing the fruits of the spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Life on this earth is too short to miss opportunities to buy lemonade from some kids, look for shapes and pictures in the clouds, catch lightning bugs and count stars. Life is also too short to live in contrast to the person we claim to be. It is stressful and very difficult to live a dual life, yet many of us are doing it daily. Give it all to God and allow Him to make the advertisement of your life match your actions.

I want to thank those girls on Buncombe Street for the lemonade, the smile and the lessons that I learned from you. May God richly bless you!

Tell me to slow down, If you think that the road that I'm on is going nowhere. Tell me to slow down, If you know that I'm going too fast for my own good. Tell me to slow down, If the way is leading to a dead end. Tell me to slow down, Turn around, let me change the way I'm going. Oh, I don't want to let go, Of all the things that I know, Are keeping me away from my life. Oh, I don't want to slow down. No, I don't want to look around. But I can't seem to work it out. So help me, God (Slow Down by Third Day. Essential Records. 2008)

We know that we have come to know Him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know Him," but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys His word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.  (1 John 2:3-6 NIV)

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