Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The 1-20 Fast Check Out Lane

There I was at the grocery store with my 18 items in the 1-20 Fast Check Out Lane. I know because the folks ahead of me had a buggy full of stuff. As they were unloading I counted mine. By the time I finished the counting an elderly woman (well, she looked older than me!) pulled in behind me, got my attention, and muttered, "Don't they know this is supposed to be a fast lane!" My stuff was already on the counter so the lady behind pushed it up a bit, placed a rubber divider down, and started unloading her 6 items. Maybe she thought getting her stuff on the counter would hurry up the folks who were ahead of me.
But, they were really in no hurry. They had they look of being beaten down a bit by life. Some of the heavier stuff required some help to get in and out of the shopping cart. Their clothing was not as nice as the lady behind. Most of the food put on the counter was the cheaper store brand. Even the cokes bore some generic name. As I watched them I became aware that two of them couldn't read which explained the presence of the third person who took over the check writing duties. I was observing and being pulled into what was happening in front of me while the lady behind continued her fidgeting and deep sighing which was a clear annoucement that those folks in front of me were really making life difficult for her.
I can't really be too judgmental of the lady behind me. It was the impatient and judgmental part of me which made me count the number of items in my shopping cart. Fortunately, my wife was able to see things more clearly and more quickly and enabled me to be a helper instead of becoming like the lady behind me. I wonder why we are made the way we are. I had no emergency ahead of me. The lady behind me probably was just being delayed five minutes from whatever important thing was waiting on her. Someone ahead of us simply needed a little more time and maybe it took a little bit of mine and hers. But, none of the time belonged to us anyway. It all belonged to God. He put us all together for a moment. I wonder what He thought about the way we each used it.


Brother Michael said...

a pertinent reminder as we enter the shopping season

Merritt said...

What a great reminder for us all to slow down a bit and have more patience and caring for those around us in all situations. I identify too much with the lady behind you.
Lord, let me hear Your voice: "Be still and know that I am God." Amen!