September 23 – Smooth Operator

A worthless person, a wicked man, is he who goes about with a perverse (contrary, wayward) mouth. Proverbs 6:12

There was a season of my life when my work had me traveling the Midwest quite a bit. And one of the joys of the journey was those occasional eating establishments along the way with their down- home cookin’!

So, one day I come upon this rustic joint on the side of the road with junkyard relics plastered everywhere. I walked in and there were autographed portraits of nearly every “somebody” in the country and their mama all over the walls. And I thought, “Oh, heck yeah!”

It was a midweek night after eight so I just looked past the emptiness of the place. I mean, the layout had me sold that this was the “jack” of all jackpots.

I get to the counter and nobody’s there. TV’s were on round about, so I just waited. Finally this fast-talking “gentleman” came to the counter telling me how lucky I was to be in his joint and in his presence. “Didn’t you know this place is famous?” He bellowed.

At first, I was agreeable…until I looked at his prices. Even for premium eating, they were ridiculous! So I said, “Um, are these prices legitimate, or am I reading the menu wrong?”

“What do you mean, my man? Those are bargains! But I tell you what, I’m in a generous mood tonight and about to close, so, (the door sign said ten o’clock and it was just a tick after eight…I was the only one in the place!) I’ll cut you a deal.”

To this day, that night was one of those moments I refer to when I should have gone with my gut and RAN out of that place. When that fork-tongued fella got finished with me, my trip funds were almost depleted.

For a few days, I was pretty upset at how he took advantage of me over some sub-par food. Then I remembered a moment from my childhood when I, too, took advantage of an unsuspecting soul. Lord, forgive me.

May today find us focused and aware of the slimy and deceptive, and yet still be merciful in our judgments. We might be reaping a little harvest from days gone by.


Riffraff and rascals
 talk out of both sides of their mouths.
 They wink at each other, they shuffle their feet,
 they cross their fingers behind their backs.
 Their perverse minds are always cooking up something nasty,
 always stirring up trouble.
 Catastrophe is just around the corner for them,
 a total smashup, their lives ruined beyond repair.               Proverbs 6:12-15 Message Bible

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