Our kids received a calendar designed to spread kindness; one activity was to tape change to a vending machine, and the kids were all excited as they taped up the money.  We watched in hopeful anticipation for a few minutes and then Samantha decided that we better add a note that said “please take” because people kept walking right by. It wasn’t that they weren’t thirsty.  Many of us had been at the gym all day. Rather than being seen as a gift, taking the money was almost like they would have been admitting that they “needed” the change. It made me think of grace, God’s gift of pardon through His Son, that so many of us continue to walk right by without taking or believing His grace because we don’t want to admit that we need it. Do we walk right by the gift of a changed heart and refreshment to our soul’s longing that is within our reach?  Do we follow a religious protocol to get in right standing and continue to walk right by Him? Do we walk by frequently until the point we stop even noticing it is there? In our pride, we think we are fine on our own, and eventually we no longer even notice the discomfort.  We go through life thirsting for more, but never let our guard down enough to admit that what we need we may be walking by every day. Take the change. Accept the gift that is the refreshment and renewal your soul needs and then let your effort begin.  Take God’s gift and then pursue Him. The passerby wouldn’t take the change and put it into the machine and walk away.  No, he would also drink the beverage, and experience the transformation of refreshment that would change the way he proceeds through the day.  Physical refreshment lasts a little while, but the soul-changing gift of God’s free-flowing grace will change everything forever if you ask. If you are not sure it all makes sense, ask.  Ask God. “God, I want to stop walking by what may be the change I need, but I don’t know all the details and don’t quite understand.” Would the God of the universe not want to reveal to you all of His mystery and wonder?  Ask, and then listen, and wait for Him to reveal the truth to you. If you hear nothing, ask again and again.  Watch God provide truth so clear it will be like it is taped to the wall right beside you. When He shows you your gift, make sure you take it.  This life with God is like taking a gift over and over every day. Let’s not walk by what is right in front of us.  Ask for change over and over relentlessly. Don’t walk by it.  It is yours for the taking. This is the free life, the life I never knew I always wanted.