A few weeks ago I thought that going grocery shopping on a Friday night was a good idea. I’m not sure what possessed me to think this. In the future I may avoid Friday night shopping like a plague. After my kids were done with their piano lessons we went to three stores. In a frazzled moment in the checkout line I realized I had forgotten to get bread crumbs and parmesan cheese that I needed for a recipe I was making. But all is well, I thought, I’ll get them at my next stop. OK, so I’ve been in this wacky season of still transitioning and nothing is the normal to me. I found myself at my last stop overwhelmed by the amount of people in the store, and lost because nothing in this particular store was where I thought it should be located. My youngest daughter and I started making a chant up about “All I want is Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs.” I stopped three different employees of this store and none of them seemed to care I was officially ready to have a meltdown. I was tired. I was frustrated that these items weren’t where they were in every other store on the planet, and as much as I was ready to just leave without them I needed them. There were so many shoppers in the store the whole thing was becoming beyond overwhelming. When we found what we needed I know that we had probably passed them several times. When we finally got out of that store, I was beyond emotionally spent.
The lady at the register asked me sweetly, “Did you find everything okay?”
“No, I didn’t. I asked three different people for help and no one seemed to care. I just needed Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs!” I was trying to respond to her as sweetly as I could but I knew my veneer was cracking.
We have all been in situations like these. We’ve all found ourselves frazzled and frustrated, when really we just need to get to our place of safety with dinner and a nap. My point in this blog is twofold. One is that when we recognize we’re in this kind of a state, that we really overly guard our mouths. I did shed my frustration on the cashier but I’ll also I sweetly just told her the truth. I’m sure a lot of people unload on her. It wasn’t personally her fault the customer service in the store stank. Also I bring up this story because I kept thinking how could I recognize and see others who were overwhelmed like this in life and help them. You see many people go through life like this. They frazzled looking for some kind of meaning, and often it seems like no one will help them. Maybe it seems simplistic to say my one bad moment in a grocery store is like life, but sometimes it is. Everyone has their own agenda, and few really care about helping others out. Even those that you’d think would. Do we let this make us bitter? No. But it does serve as a reminder to me to be a person in a sea of people who will truly care about the lost.
In Acts 3 at the Gate Beautiful Peter and John were used to walking that way many times. I’m sure they had their own places they needed to be, but when they SAW the lame beggar and reached out to him, that man’s life was forever changed. Through the power of the Holy Spirit that man God up and was healed. While they went on with their life, that man would never be the same. While yes there are times in life that we need to get to where we are going, however may we all learn to retrain ourselves to see the world around us. This life is so short.
God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.