My life has been drastically altered in the past week. Titus the Honorable has started kindergarten, which has brought our freewheeling, adventurous lifestyle to an abrupt halt. It was fun while it lasted. Titus now has to be in bed at 7:30 p.m. and is only available to hang out with Poppy on evenings or weekends. And for the first time, I have to work my schedule around his.
To take advantage of our first weekend, he and I decided to go hiking on Saturday morning and then spend the rest of the day at our house. His Uncle Jeremy was in town, and the rest of his family would join us later that afternoon.
The Moores have a new, temporary family member. Her name is Sara, and she is a foreign exchange student from Spain attending Verdigris High School. Titus the Honorable and Cohen the Goodhearted, along with their mom and dad, are the sponsoring host home. The boys think it’s great to have an older sister in the house.
Saturday afternoon, my wife needed some more bottled water, so I asked Sara if she had ever been to Sam’s Wholesale Club. “What is this Sam’s Wholesale Club?” she asked me.
“Why don’t you come with Titus and me, and we will show you?”
As we entered the huge store, I tried to explain to Sarah the concept of buying in bulk. You can’t get a single roll of toilet paper here; you have to buy 24 rolls.
If you know anything about Sam’s, you know Saturday is a good day to go because of the vendors giving out free samples of their products. We stopped at the first one and sampled a chicken sandwich, then tried the next vendor’s pizza. This concept amused Sara. “In our country, they don’t give out free samples.”
Wanting to explore the free-sample concept further, we went to an energy-drink booth and then on to a Lay’s booth where they were passing out barbeque-flavored potato chips (which go great with peanut butter sandwiches) and a new flavor, “Fried Pickle With Ranch.” Unlike Will Rogers, who was once misquoted as saying, “I never met a potato chip I didn’t like,” I sure didn’t like the Fried Pickles With Ranch chips. I wasn’t sure what part of the “ranch” we were eating.
During our excursion to Sam’s, Titus the Honorable was lying on the rack underneath the shopping cart. At one point, I heard his mouse-like voice but couldn’t make out the words. I bent down and discovered he had a question. “Poppy, can we find another example?”
“What?” I asked. “An example?”
Then I figured it out. He was calling the free samples the vendors passed out “examples.” And if you think about it, samples are examples of their products. I still tried to explain to him that they were “samples,” not “examples.” But before I knew it, I was going around the store, looking for more free examples.
Titus, my young friend, one of the greatest ways to find your way through life is to find a person whose life is a good example. As a young man, you already know life is full of twists and turns. There are roads that take us to destruction, and there is a road that takes us to peace (Matt. 7:13-14). The Bible calls this “the narrow road,” and many will reject it, but it is the road you will want to find.
To help you recognize that narrow road, the Bible contains many examples of people who have found and followed it. You can study their lives and emulate them. From their example, you can learn how to make good choices. Just as at Sam’s, there are many vendors in this world who will try to entice you to try their products. But before you even think about sampling what they offer, you will need to look to the greatest example who ever lived, Jesus Christ.
Titus, the more you emulate the life of Jesus, the more you will find that narrow road. A while back, many people wore a popular bracelet with “WWJD?” stamped on it, which stood for “What would Jesus do?” If you ask yourself that question when the samples are passed out, you will not only live a good and meaningful life, but an abundant one (John 10:10).
One more thing. I just found out you are going to have another brother or sister in March. That means you will soon have two younger siblings following you around. They will need a good example in their lives, and you can be that for them as long as you decide to follow Jesus.
Jesus is free, but He’s not a sample. He’s the very best free example of all.