Perseverance and Cheap Chapstick

Our household is in a constant state of “lip-balm-less-ness.” All three of us enjoy the outdoors and use lip balm year round to keep our lips protected in winter air or summer sun. We’re always in need, because the little tubes get sent through the washing machine or disappear between the car seats. I’ve ever actually finished a tube of Chapstick. It’s lost or destroyed long before I get my money’s worth.

I’m a lip-balm aficionado. I can tell you that the tiny jar you dip with your fingers doesn’t melt as easily in the car, but it’s useless with beach-sand hands or winter gloves. The flavored stuff is okay, but some of it will make your lips hot pink. A friend gave me a tube of Bacon-flavored lip balm, but that’s another story!

On a recent hiking trip, I forgot my Chapstick. I stopped into a drugstore and faced a choice: one tube of the name brand or two tubes of the store brand for the same price. I picked up the store-brand and gave one to my hiking buddy.

Within a day, I regretted my decision. The contents of the brands seemed to be much the same, but the container was not. The cap on the store brand was very thin, and it cracked after a few uses. Once the cap was cracked my bargain lip-balm was now an open tube, ready to receive lint and dirt or make a greasy mess in my backpack.

My lip-balm-lamentations got me thinking about faith. One faith will crack under pressure while the other does not. One will fail when you need it most while the other keeps you strong until the end.

Jesus warns against false prophets and fake faith in Matthew 7:15-29. He tells us to build “on the rock” and be “founded on the rock.” The rock is safe, but other foundations will cause you to tumble with the first storm. Put another way, one kind of lip-balm will last you the whole trip and the other will crack when you need it most!

So, that’s my “parable” of Cheap Chapstick. And if you’re wondering why I didn’t simply borrow my buddy’s lip-balm, I think it was Jim Croce who said, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape / You don’t spit into the wind / And you don’t mess around with another man’s lip-balm.”

In Him,
Pastor Brian

Image: wikipedia


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