Candy Counter Culture

Candy Counter Culture
By Larry d. Wright

Joseph M. Stowell in Moody Monthly (December, 1989, p. 4) writes, “We were on our annual Christmas trek to Chicago. Each year we brought our family to spend time with Grandpa and Grandma and visit the museums. This year we decided to finish our Christmas shopping at suburban Woodfield Mall.

In the midst of all the fun and excitement, one of us noticed that little three-and-a-half-year-old Matthew was gone. Terror immediately struck our hearts. We had heard the horror stories: little children kidnapped in malls, rushed to a restroom, donned in different clothes and altered hairstyle, and then swiftly smuggled out, never to be seen again.

We split up, each taking an assigned location. Mine was the parking lot. I’ll never forget that night—kicking through the newly fallen snow, calling out his name at the top of my lungs. I felt like an abject fool, yet my concern for his safety outweighed all other feelings. Unsuccessful, I trudged back to our meeting point. My wife, Martie, had not found him, nor had my mother. And then my dad appeared, holding little Matthew by the hand.

Our hearts leapt for joy. Interestingly enough, Matthew was untraumatized. He hadn’t been crying. To him, there had been no problem. I asked my father where he had found him. ‘The candy counter,’ he replied. ‘You should have seen him. His eyes came just about as high as the candy. He held his little hands behind his back and moved his head back and forth, surveying all the luscious options.’

Matthew didn’t look lost. He didn’t know he was lost. He was oblivious to the phenomenal danger he was in. [We live] in a candy-counter culture, where people who don’t look lost, don’t know they’re lost and are clueless to the danger that looms around them.”

Someone must tell them. Someone must search for them. That someone is you and me.

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is more than a lifeless organization. It is a living organism, made up of many parts, all of which are to be energized by Christ Himself, for the purpose of accomplishing God’s work on earth. The Church consists of many individuals from all walks of life, with differing personalities, talents and abilities, united under a number of common goals. Among these common goals are the worship of God, growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, fellowship with other saints, and the sharing of the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. In essence, the Church does not exist for itself, but to fulfill the purposes of God. She exists to search for people who don’t know they are lost.

Unfortunately, many churches today fail to understand and fulfill their mission. Howard Hendricks said, “In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering.” Bill Bright, Founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, said, "Millions of surveys taken from Christians around the world indicate that approximately 98 percent of Christians do not regularly introduce others to the Savior."

S. Truett Cathy, Founder of Chick-fil-a, one said, “If you wish to enrich days, plant flowers; if you wish to enrich years, plant trees; if you wish to enrich Eternity, invest your life in the lives of others.”