I was ready to explode. I was in a hurry and I had been waiting in line for fifteen minutes already. Couldn’t management see they needed to open up another register so their customers would not be delayed so long? I kept looking around. Others were beginning to complain and getting kind of loud.
Does anyone remember going to the store with your mama and it was a pleasant outing? People actually struck up conversations with others. Everyone spoke and asked “how are you?” They said excuse me if they needed to get by. It was community and when you left you were smiling! Nowadays, unless you see someone you know, hardly anyone speaks and if you do speak to them you get a strange look. Of course this doesn’t apply all the time, but I’m sure everyone can identify with some or all of the above.
Now it had been 25 minutes and the girl checking out the line I was in must have been new. I think only one buggy had gone through the line. As I stood there continuing to wait, not patiently I might add, I was becoming more frustrated by the moment! I called my friend to tell her I would be late because the store only had a certain number of registers open and I would be there as soon as the slow boat to China moved. Then wham!
This little voice in my head said, “Why didn’t you leave earlier? There was no reason you couldn’t. Also how many people are watching you right now? What kind of witness are you being for Jesus?”
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
I felt like crawling under the tile floor but no such escape was available. I was hemmed in and could not move. I said a breath prayer asking God to forgive my behavior and to change my attitude. After all, it stunk! I don’t know about you, but I felt ashamed of myself. I was my own worst enemy here. I could have planned better, shopped earlier, or even shopped a different day. Here I was taking it out on a poor defenseless cashier who had probably been on her feet for 6 hours without a break and dealing with folks like me who had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.
Finally, it was my turn and thankfully God had given me an immediate attitude adjustment. I looked at the young woman and could see it had been a difficult day. I spoke and said, “Busy day, huh?”
She said, “Very busy and I have a sick child so not much rest last night.”
Wham again! I found myself praying for her as a young mom, asking God to give her rest and to help her child. God used this to check my heart and to remind me I’m His witness no matter where I am, even waiting in line at the grocery store. Note to self: don’t forget this lesson. And next time why not pray while you wait?
Father, help us to always be aware that we represent You no matter where we go. Foreign country, local community club, coffee shop, and yes, even the grocery store. We could be the only Jesus someone sees. What reflection of You did they see? We want others to know You and we want them to see a clear image of You in us, not a distorted one. We can’t do this by ourselves and we readily admit this and ask for Your help so that we always leave the sweet aroma of Jesus behind.
The WM Team