Genesis 4:3-7 (NLT)
3 When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought a gift�the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. 6 �Why are you so angry?� the Lord asked Cain. �Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.�
This is the story of Adam and Eve�s children, Cain and Able. Both brought offerings to the Lord, but Able brought the best of what he had. God accepted Able�s gift but rejected Cain�s. God could see the dejection in Cain and warned him sin was already within him waiting to take control. God�s word to Cain about his sin was �you must subdue it and be its master�.
The movie The Straight Story is based on a true story and chronicles the pilgrimage of a 73 year-old man to mend a broken relationship with his brother, whom he hasn't seen or spoken to in over ten years. Alvin Straight (played by Richard Farnsworth) lives in Laurens, Iowa. Alvin has lost his driver's license because of impaired vision. When a call comes indicating that Lyle, Alvin's estranged brother, has had a stroke, Alvin determines to find a way to visit his brother and make things right. His only solution is to hitch a makeshift trailer to his 1966 John Deere riding lawn mower and set out on a 500-mile trip that will take him in excess of six weeks. Camping out in fields and backyards made available by hospitable people he meets along the way, Alvin Straight slowly but surely makes his way toward his destination. After crossing the Mississippi River and entering into Wisconsin, Alvin camps out in a church cemetery, kindling a campfire between tombstones. The pastor of the adjoining church sees Alvin from his office, has pity on the "homeless" man, and brings him a plate of hot meatloaf and mashed potatoes. A conversation ensues. "I can't help but notice your rather unlikely mode of transportation," the pastor says eyeing the riding mower. Alvin makes mention of his brother who lives in the area. The pastor recalls having met a man by that name while making calls in the hospital, but admits that he didn't recall the man making mention of having a brother. "Neither one of us has had a brother for quite some time," Alvin explained. "Lyle and I grew up as close as brothers could be. We were raised in Morehead, Minnesota. We worked hard.� Me and Lyle would make games out of our chores.� He and I used to sleep out in the yard most every summer night. We talked to each other till we went to sleep. It made our trials seem smaller. We pretty much talked each other through growing up." The pastor asked, "Whatever happened between you two?" Alvin's eyes tear-up as he explains. "The story's as old as Cain and Abel. Anger. Vanity. Mix that together with liquor, and you've got two brothers who haven't spoken in ten years." Alvin's manner and voice indicates the depth at which he is grieving the barrier that exists between him and Lyle. He adds, "Whatever it was that made me and Lyle so mad, it doesn't matter anymore. I want to make peace and sit with him and look up at the stars like we used to do."
Like Alvin, many of us have someone with whom we deeply long to be reconciled. Do not let bitterness, envy, jealousy, anger or whatever other sin may be harbored in your heart keep you from reconciling with another.