It was his first day on the job. He was a new clerk in the green goods department of a supermarket. A lady came up to him and said she wanted to buy half of a head of lettuce. He tried to dissuade her from that goal, but she persisted.Finally he said, "I'll have to go back and talk to the manager."He went to the rear of the store to talk to the manager, not noticing that the woman was walking right behind him. When he got into the back of the store, he said to the manager, "There's some stupid old bag out there who wants to buy half a head of lettuce. What should I tell her?"Seeing the horrified look on the face of the manager, he turned about and, seeing the woman, added, "And this nice lady wants to buy the other half of the head of lettuce. Will it be all right?"Considerably relieved, the manager said, "That would be fine."
Later in the day, he congratulated the boy on his quick thinking. He then asked, "Where are you from, son?"The boy said, "I'm from Toronto, Canada, the home of beautiful hockey players and ugly women."The manager looked at him and said, "My wife is from Toronto."The boy said, "Oh, what team did she play for?"
I think we all wish we could be that quick. At least speaking for myself, there are many times later when I wish I had thought of something earlier.What I want to think with you about today is not the quickest reply, nor the one coming most trippingly to the tongue. I want to think instead about that reply we use most often; that response that we, particularly in matters that are profound, most frequently rely upon.
Often, our only answer is "because."
I want to think with you about the oldest, strangest, and strongest response we ever offer. It's that single word because.Would you prefer tea or coffee? Tea. Why do you like tea more than coffee? Oh, because.Would you prefer vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla. Why? Because. We never stop to think, for example, that chocolate ice cream doesn't melt as fast as vanilla ice cream or that cocoa beans might be addictive. We just say, "Because."
Why did you marry your husband? Let's be honest, ladies. He's not the best looking man in the world. He's not the strongest. He's not the gentlest. He's not the most intelligent. He's not the most profoundly Christian. So, let's lay aside all of that hyperbole, and let me ask you again: Why did you marry the man that you married?Well, because.Why do you like one hymn rather than another? Because.Why did you pick that necktie when the other necktie looks just as good with the suit as this one does and also was somewhat cheaper? Because.
Pascal, the great Christian French mathematician, said, "The heart has its reasons that reason does not know." Many times we make decisions, we determine preferences, we decide on courses of action just because. I would submit to you, in fact, that we do this more often than we realize.