Sunday, April 04, 2004

Sin Is Like Shopping with a $1 Million Bill

When I heard about Alice Pike's arrest, two questions came to mind. Alice is the woman who tried to pay for her Wal-Mart purchases with a $1 million bill. My two questions: "There isn't really a $1 million bill, is there?" and, "What was she thinking?"

The answer to the first question is no, silly. The U.S. Treasury doesn't make a bank note with that many zeros. I don't know how high they do go, but thanks to Alice, nobody is going to con me on the million dollar one now. As far as what Alice was thinking, I don't believe she was.

Alice went to the register with $1,675 worth of stuff. What is amazing is that she expected change. Math is not my strong suit, but by my calculation, that's a lot of change. Was Alice really expecting that the cashier not only would, but actually could, hand over $998,325.00? Did she envision the cashier on the loudspeaker saying, "We need 10's and 20's on aisle 5?" Did she even bring a vehicle big enough to handle her purchases and the mountain of change?

Alice helps remind us of the irrationality of sin. Most sin doesn't make sense. We lie and expect good results. We overindulge in food or alcohol or entertainment and expect to feel better. We take what isn't ours and expect satisfaction. We refuse to resist temptation and expect peace. We act selfishly and expect stronger relationships. We ignore repentance and expect forgiveness. We hand over a fake and expect change.

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