The Bologna Sandwich Syndrome: A Lesson in Faith and Action

Rev. Bradley Swire   -  

Have you ever caught yourself complaining about something so frequently, yet doing absolutely nothing to change it? Well, I recently stumbled upon a story that mirrors this all too common human tendency – the tale of a construction worker with a peculiar habit of complaining.

I. The Daily Grumble Picture this: our friend, the construction worker, opens his lunch bag every day only to find – you guessed it – a bologna sandwich. His reaction escalates from mild annoyance to outright exasperation. And who does he blame? Initially, it seems like he’s pointing fingers at his wife, but here’s the kicker – he’s been packing his own lunches all along! Sounds familiar? How many times have we blamed others for our bologna sandwiches, only to realize we’ve been making them ourselves?

II. A Mirror to Our Lives It’s easy to chuckle at this story, but let’s take a moment to reflect. Aren’t we all like this in some way? Complaining about things but not taking steps to change them? I’m guilty as charged – I often grumble about misplaced clothes, while I’m the one who doesn’t put them away. This construction worker’s story is a mirror showing us our own habits of complaining instead of acting.

III. A Spiritual Perspective This brings us to a deeper, more spiritual reflection. In our journey of faith, how often do we lament about not being where we want to be or not doing what we ought to do? We read the Scriptures, we know what God expects of us, and yet, we find ourselves weeping – either in resistance to change or in regret for our inaction. Just like the people in the Bible, we learn that simply crying over our spiritual bologna sandwiches gets us nowhere.

IV. Nehemiah: A Model of Action But here’s where we find inspiration. Enter Nehemiah – a man not of complaints but of action. A cupbearer to the Persian King, Nehemiah could have stayed in his comfortable life. But he chose to act on his concern for Jerusalem. He didn’t just bemoan the city’s vulnerability; he took charge, facing opposition and adversity, to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s story isn’t just historical; it’s a call to action for all of us.

V. Our Calling Imagine, just for a moment, what we could achieve if we worked hand in hand with Christ, transforming our complaints into actions. It’s about realizing that God has already equipped us for great things, often beyond our understanding. Nehemiah didn’t have the might of a warrior, but he had the influence, the trust, and most importantly, the faith to undertake God’s work.

In conclusion, every time we find a bologna sandwich in our hands, let’s remember that we have the power to change our menu. It’s time to stop complaining and start doing, for in the joy of the Lord, we find our strength to act. Let’s be the church that acts, inspired by Nehemiah, equipped by God, and strengthened by our faith in Christ.

Remember, in the story of our lives, we are the ones packing the lunch.