Refresh my heart in Christ. (Philemon 1:20 NRSV)

A man at an airport was worried about missing his plane. He had no wristwatch, and he couldn't locate a clock, so he hurried up to a stranger and said, "Excuse me, could you tell me the time, please?"

The stranger smiled and said, "Sure." He set down the two large suitcases he was carrying and looked at his wristwatch. "It is 6:08, the temperature is 75. The barometric pressure is 30.19 and falling. Rain is predicted. In Madrid, the sky is clear. The temperature is 40 degrees Celsius. In Istanbul, the weather is sultry and the moon full." "Your watch tells you all that?" the man interrupted.
"Oh, yes...and much more," said the stranger. "You see, I invented this watch, and there is no other timepiece like it in the world!"
"I want to buy that watch!" said the man. "I'll pay you $2,000 for it right now!"

"No, it's not for sale," said the stranger as he picked up his suitcases.
"Wait! $4,000. I'll pay you $4,000 cash," offered the man, reaching for his wallet.
"No, I can't," said the stranger. "You see, it has great sentimental value for me."
"O.K. listen," said the man. "I'll give you $10,000. I've got the money right here."

The stranger paused. "$10,000? Well, O.K. It's yours for $10,000."
The man was absolutely elated. He paid the stranger, took the watch, and snapped it on his wrist with glee, and said, "Thanks," as he turned to leave.
"Wait," said the stranger. With a big smile, he handed the two heavy suitcases to the man and added, "Don't forget the batteries."

This is the continual temptation that haunts us as the church, is it not? That we will forget the batteries--that we will forget the source of our power. That we will leave behind what is essential to the life of the community of faith.

Lord Jesus, help me not to forget to keep my batteries fully charged by living close to you. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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