No Deposit, No Return

Aug 15, 2019

Perhaps I am showing my age a bit but that is a term they used to use before the recycling Nazi’s criminalized trash.  Coke bottles used to require a 2 cent deposit when you bought one to make sure that the bottles were returned so that they could be used again.

It wasn’t called recycling, but that is what it was.  My friends and I used to get pocket money by dumpster diving (they didn’t call it that back then) for bottles.  Although many states are bringing this idea back, in the mid 60’s they pretty much did away with idea.  Plastic bottles and aluminum cans replaced glass bottles and the recycling boom began.

Every kid in town had some money in his pockets back then because we simply walked the ditches outside of town and rummaged up 10 or so empty bottles along the road.  Twenty cents went a long way when I was a kid…heck…it bought a gallon of gas.

Today, Americans expect a return without a deposit. No wonder so many folks are walking around in desperation. 

I don’t care what area of endeavor you find yourself operating in the old axiom of NO DEPOSIT, NO RETURN still rings true today.  If you want anything of value in this life you will find that you are going to have to put some skin in the game.  No deposit, no return.

Why don’t we teach that anymore?  Why does everyone demand equality when it is clear that, for the most part, you get out of something exactly what you put into it?  No deposit, no return.

I spent a career as a high school Coach.  Football was where I hung my hat, but I coached numerous other sports…both boys and girls…and the one truism that remained constant was that those who worked the hardest usually had the greatest success. Although some people were born on third base, the vast majority of successful people that I know earned their success through hard work.  No deposit, no return.

We have all heard the stories from our parents about how rough their lives were.  You know the old saw…they walked three miles to school, uphill both ways…but the truth is that they lived in a different world where there was a direct correlation between work and success.

There was no entitlement.  No one owed them anything.  The American dream was the idea that if you worked hard you could be successful.  There was no such thing as a free lunch or a free pass.  As the Beatles so aptly said, everyone “bought a ticket to ride.”  In other words, no deposit, no return.

That was the American way.

Hold on tight…I am about to make a hard right turn on you here.

Why is it that we think it would be any different in our personal lives?  Why would we make the mistake of thinking that the most important aspects of life would be successful apart from the principles that worked in other parts of our lives?  No deposit, no return applies across the board.

Why is your Spiritual life so bland?  Why is your relationship with Jesus Christ so casual and lukewarm?  How much time and energy do you invest in your Christian walk?  Do you read the Bible daily?  If so, do you simply read a few verses out of a Daily Devotional and then run to the office?  How could you ever have a deep, lasting relationship with Christ if you invest so little time into it?  No deposit, no return.

How about your family?  How is that working out for you?  Has it ever dawned on you that your children probably spend more quality time with their high school coach than they do with you?  When I was coaching it was not unusual for a father to thank me for working with his child and openly admit that I had more impact on the child’s life than the father did.  Are you investing into your children?  No deposit, no return.

What about the relationship with your spouse?  How much quality time do the two of you actually spend together?  Men, how often do you sit down and look deeply into the eyes of your bride?  Do you listen to her concerns?  Do you take her hand and pray for her?  Do you step away from the TV and invest the time in her life that she actually deserves?  Remember, no deposit, no return.

When was the last time you connected with an elected official?  Do you communicate regularly with your Congressman?  How about your mayor…or better yet, your pastor?  They tell us that silence is consent and perhaps we should ask ourselves what is the message that our leadership is receiving from our silence.  What have you invested your time in to today?  Yep, you got it…no deposit, no return.

America is in the mess that we are in today because of the tyranny of the minority.  Samuel Adams, the firebrand of the American Revolution said, “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

What brushfires are you setting in the minds of those you have influence over?  Are you having the impact in your home, church, marriage, and community that you could be having?  Are you investing your time, energy, talents, and finances into the things that really matter in life? 

When the sand runs out of your hour glass what will it be that you left behind? Take stock in your life of the things that really matter and fight like hell to preserve them.   Now is the time.  Stand up and speak up.  

No deposit, no return.