We arrived home from our summer vacation/study break this morning. Good trip all in all. Always good to be home . . . something about sleeping in your own bed . . .
After unpacking I needed to run to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials. No problem–accept for the “Good Night” diapers for Elijah. Giant Eagle no longer carries them. Sooo, a quick stop at Babies R Us.
I found the “Good Nights” right away. Unfortunately all three checkout lines were at least 8 people deep. I am no longer in vacation relaxation mode–I am now in task “git r done” mode. Three people from checking out, the cashier informs that I’ll need to move to another register . . . she is closing down.
Okayyy, I see a shorter line near the end of the store. I move towards it. Just as I am about to make my dash, an elderly (and I mean ELDERLY) woman shuffles from another line into the line in front of me. Ughhhh. Finally, this grandmotherly lady is the only person between me and checking out (NO, I didn’t shove her out of the way!).
Very nice elderly lady lays her purchases on the counter (a baby bath thingy, you know, big plastic wash tubbee). The young girl at the register rings her up and then removes her purchases from the gift registry. Nice elderly lady asks, “Do you have a gift bag for this?”
“Oh no, we don’t have anything here at the register. There are some nice big gift bags over in our gift wrap department.”
“Would you go get me one?”
I’m thinking to myself, “Okay, the nice cashier will call someone to assist this nice elderly lady.” BUT NOOOO. Very nice young cashier smiles and says, “I’d be happy too.” As she walks away (leaving eight of us stand in line) the elderly lady, who in my mind, is no longer receiving the affectionate term “nice,” calls out, “It’s for a boy!”
By now I’m thinking that my Chunk Monkey ice cream is now Slushy Monkey at best (did I mention I went to the grocery store to get some essentials?).
Five minutes later the nice young cashier comes back with a nice blue bag for the baby bath tubbee thingy which the elderly lady decides she doesn’t want because it costs too much.
Vacation is over and it’s back to reality. And the reality is that I still have to make conscious decisions on a regular basis about how I’m going to respond in challenging situations (no matter how insignificant or goofy they are).
“Jesus, help me be like you . . . not only when I’m in relaxed mode but especially when I’m wanting to ‘git r done’.”
If life weren't a challenge and we didn't all need help making it thru this kind of day, it wouldn't be any fun. We all need these reminders that "we are all a piece of work…in…progress."
Wow, it must be contagious! Last Thursday, I was leaving for work at 4:15am(yes,normal time for me) to a flat tire. Knowing that my wife needed to get Kelly to a golf tournament in Hartville and her older sister to work. I woke up the 19 year old older sister to take me to work. Called my wife at 9am to tell her that I got out the compressor and she could enjoy a cigarette and cup of coffee while the tire inflated, then take it to get repaired. Then when my daughter went to work they could drop off my car to me at work. Called my wife at noon to find out nothing was going to happen with the tire until I got home. She took a half day of vacation to pick me up from work. I take the tire off, put it in her car and take it to get repaired. I come home to put the fixed tire back on, in a downpour. I had a raincoat on but my pants were soaked. I put on some golf shorts as I was going to the golf course to watch Kelly finish her tournament. She was the Freshman Champion at the tournament! I realized that the plan from there involved attending calling hours for a member of my Thrive group Dad. Although dressed rather silly for that, we went anyway. We were the hit of calling hours as the deceased man was an avid golfer and would have been honored that someone came from the golf course. God has a great way of making things work out.
Hi Paster Greg, something happend to us tonight. I was home alone with my 3 year old son and my 17 week old daughter while my husband was out running my 14 year old to a friends house. All is good with the world as it is 8 and the baby is sleeping and I am getting my son ready for bed. It is a lot harder to do in the summer time, as it is usually 9:30 before we get him into bed, which our goal is 8'ish. Anyway, I thought it was going to happen tonight which means I could be in bed before 11:30 and get a few hours of sleep before the baby wakes for her 3 o'clock feeding and then up at 7 for work. As he is in the bathroom, I go out to check the livingroom to make sure the TV is off, just as I look in the dark livingroom, I see something out of the corner of my eye and I look again, thinking maybe a car went by and the lights came through at just the right angle, and this thing starts flying at me and I squeal, and back up and it turns and flies the other way, it is a bat! I yell hey buddy go to mommy's room now, as I turn the corner to the hall way to make a bee line, I see this naked little butt running in the room a head of me, I shut the door and I explain there is a bat in the house. The whole time the baby is asleep in her cradle in my room. Now, my first thought is call my husband and let him know so he will rush home. So I do only to hear his cell phone ringing in the livingroom. I then open the bedroom window and wait for him to pull in the drive way hopefully with his window down so I can let him know before he comes in the house. Well, that is exactly what happend. However, as I am talking to him from the bedroom window, our neighbors come out and now there are 3 men ran sacking my house to find this bat. They find nothing but dust and a Hi Hoe Cherry O game under the couch! Anyway, they all think I am crazy because they can't find it. So, I suggest that everyone go home and my husband go on the couch and turn off the lights (watch some TV) while I get both kids to bed in our room and if the bat is still in the house, it will come out when everything is quite. Well, what do you know, the woman of the house knows best, I got the kids to bed, (did I mention it is now 10:30 and both kids are up!) and with in 10 minutes of the house being calm the bat came out. I hear my husband yelling wo wo wo, he is flying at me! Anyway, he hits it knocking it out. He takes it out side and the neighbors come over to see the kill! Men are so funny about that kind of thing. Anyway, after all this happend I thought about you and the story you told at church about the bat getting into your house. By they way you mentioned you said a "bad word that day" I think my husband said the same word several times tonight. Which now means when my 3 year old is in his tree house kids class he will remember it and say it several times. Isn't that the way life goes?! By the way it is 12:20 and I am loggin off and going to bed. I have 2 & 1/2 hours before the baby wakes up.
Your post and everyone's comments reminded me of this wonderful speech. Just wanted to share it if you've never read it. I keep a link to this to re-read from time to time. http://publicnoises.blogspot.com/2009/05/david-foster-wallace-kenyon.html
Greg, thought you would enjoy Francis Chans's Podcast 8-01-08 Gospel Training part 1. It is exactly what I know I feel and have felt working with NRG these past years, he just puts it into words. Loved The Kite Runner and Mudhouse Sabbath, coincidently I just visited my sister in Vermont and she has chosen the Jewish faith and her daughter is a scholar in Hebrew. Gods perfect timing.
I like the phrase "life happens" from an earlier blog of yours. I wish I could say that I handle those little suprises that come into life with grace and patience every time but the fact is, I just don't. For example, the other day I was really exhausted and my husband and I were finally winding down after a busy week when I noticed our kitchen floor was soaking wet. Long story short a big container of water in the fridge had been leaking. Everything in the fridge was soaked, a rug as well. I was at the snapping point and had to literally go outside because I couldn't handle the frustration. All the while my husband got out towels and patiently and calmly dried off each item in the fridge and the floor. His actions were a great testimony to me that A) I need to work on patience B) Since something so simple caused a breakdown I had WAY too much yucky stuff going on in my heart and C) I should have consulted Jesus much earlier on in my "exhaustion" moment to ask for His patience.
Now I want to remind myself more often, Life happens!
Probably an angel in disguise:) I know they are sent to help, but character development is help, isn't it?
Compassion by Design
I think Jesus is friends with "Murphy".
Hi, Pastor Greg. About a month ago, the kids and I were at Wally World. While in line waiting to check out, there was a woman at the register encountering a problem with her credit/debit card and/or food stamp card. The kids were in "What's taking so long?" "Let's go to another line!" mode – loudly, I might add. I simply turned to them and said, "Patience. I have been in her shoes and we are not in a hurry. We will wait." Yes, I was met with moans and groans and that's ok …