I read, with interest, in WORLD magazine this week about a 28-year-old man named Joseph M. Velardo. Joseph was arrested in Port St. Lucie, FL for stealing two computer batteries from a local Staples store.
This was no accident. Velardo plotted this. It seems, Joseph stole the batteries because he was hoping to be caught. He hoped to be caught because he understood that to be caught and convicted of a third-degree felony would make him ineligible for law school.
So, Joseph stole the batteries from Staples, walked outside, turned around and walked back in, confessed his crime to store employees, and asked them to call the police. Velardo’s plan worked to perfection except for one thing—the value of the batteries was only $276.88. To receive a felony charge, a person has to steal more than $300.00 worth of merchandise. Evidently, Joseph needs to attend law school so he can learn how much he must steal to be charged with a felony.
Now Joseph is stuck with two things he does not want: 1) a misdemeanor charge and 2) a law school waiting to receive him for this fall’s classes.
Joseph’s story reminds me of so many people in the Bible upon whom God granted the privilege of participating in his work. Moses tried to talk God out of it. Gideon did not want to fight the Midianites. Jonah got on a boat—and headed in the wrong direction. A lot people, deep down inside, fear opportunity. Nothing arrives bringing more opportunity than an invitation from God to participate in His Kingdom work.