This morning I want to share with you an article that first appeared in our Wesleyan Advocate magazine. It’s written by a lady named Bobbie A. Sease from Peru, Indiana. I love it because it reminds me that I need to slow down.
Rush, rush rush! That’s all I seemed to be doing this Christmas season! If I wasn’t helping my husband run our family business, I was chauffeuring three children to various school activities. Then there was the Sunday school lesson to prepare, and what about the women’s Bible study group coming to my house this week? I was supposed to teach and host? How had that happened?
And now this – stuck behind two little old ladies at the grocery store, when I was in such a hurry! What was taking them so long to pick things out? Why did they have to block the aisle with their shopping cart? Just look at them! Dressed in their Sunday coats and hats, like they were on a holiday or something – like they had all the time in the world.
Picking up each can and examining the labels, then separating them in the cart. Odd they should do that. One frail little woman putting the cheaper, generic brands at the back of the cart. The other placing more expensive, name-brand varieties in the front. Obviously spinster or widowed sisters – one a penny-pincher, the other with more “refined” tastes. Bet they had some fine squabbles!
I bulldozed past them at last and tore recklessly through the grocery store, snagging what I needed at breakneck speed. Then, wouldn’t you know it? In my haste to get into the shortest checkout line, I barreled in behind the elderly sisters. Too late to back out; I was already boxed in by other shoppers. Once again I had to wait, while the ladies carefully separated their purchases, paying separately, of course picking delicately through timeworn coin purses for just the right amount of change, as if they had all the time in the world.
Now what? Should have seen that one coming – the lady with gourmet tastes now requesting a paper bag, not plastic, and would you mind doubling that up for me, sonny? Then, of course, it’s time to button up our coats, wrap our scarves precisely around our throats and ears, pull our gloves on one finger at a time – all the while civilizations rose and fell, star systems were born and died, and I fidgeted behind them in controlled rage, ready to fling my few groceries on the conveyor and vault over them as soon as I had room to maneuver!
At last! They were hobbling away! I shoved money at the cashier, hurried the bag boy along, and turned to make my escape. But there they STILL were, this time blocking the door. In utter astonishment I watched as the ladies, together, picked up one of the sacks and placed it carefully in the “Food Collection Box for Needy Families”. It was the bag of expensive, name-brand groceries in the doubled-up paper bag.
I heard little imaginary gears grinding and brakes shrieking as, right then and there, time stood still for me. Suddenly, my busy schedule didn’t seem to matter anymore.
It’s been more than 15 years since I got “trapped” behind those two little ladies in the grocery store, but I’ve never forgotten that precious lesson of love and sacrificial giving. May this season of our Lord’s birth remind you of His love – given to us freely, sacrificially … just as if He had all the time in the world!
Isn’t that a great reminder!
Have a great week!
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