Thoughts from the Self-Checkout Line

No, I didn’t fall off the planet again….just haven’t been feeling well. I haven’t written anything in weeks. Been to a handful of doctors appointments without success yet. I’m still dizzy all the time, in varying degrees but, I’m trying to just keep going. I know God has a reason He’s allowing this in my life. It’s never His will for us to suffer, but He can use these times for His glory plus our benefit and growth.

God has recently, through a book a dear friend, mentor and amazing prayer warrior wrote, shown me that one of my purposes here on earth is Encouraging Mercy (which has not always been my strongest character trait, but is the greatest commandment):
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40, ESV)

It’s funny how He uses everyday life to teach us to be more like Him. You don’t typically go to the grocery store wondering what life lessons you’ll learn that time.

Actually , I had already gone through the checkout line, bagged my groceries and got out the door when I realized I’d forgotten hubby’s yogurt. I went to my jeep and put in the groceries I’d just purchased and returned to the store. I went to the back of the store, where the dairy is, and grabbed a bunch of yogurt (Hubby likes them for a sweet treat/snack).

I decided to use the self-checkout because I only had 10 of them. A tall lady had been in front of me with her cart, so we approached the area together. At the last minute, she veered off into the end of the aisle next to the area and flipped her cart quickly aimed at the checkout stands, like she was waiting for someone. Normally people line up there when there is a line to the self-checkouts, but 2 machines were open.

I decided she wasn’t checking out, since there were 2 open checkouts, so I went to one of the machines. A man was behind me and he grabbed the second machine. The one I walked up to was stuck in the “please take your items” mode, so I moved to another that had just opened up. I caught the tall lady’s snarl out of the corner of my eye as I informed the attendant that the first machine wasn’t working.

She was mumbling something as she went to the freshly fixed machine. I scanned my yogurts, bagged them and God poked me, “Go apologize to her” he spoke to my heart. I went to her and said “I’m so sorry. The other guy and I didn’t realize you were trying to check out because there were 2 checkouts available and we didn’t realize you were making a line. I wasn’t trying to be rude to you and go first.”

She replied, “Oh, I wasn’t talking about you, I was grumbling about the lady who was bouncing between the checkouts ahead of me,” then she had a startled look on her face for some reason. I said, “Hmmmm, I didn’t see her. Alright then, have a good day,” and returned to my jeep. As I was driving home I realized that I was the lady “bouncing between the checkouts”.

I wish I hadn’t realized it because I gave “her” a piece of my mind the whole way home. I really gave it to “her”, too (even though she wasn’t anywhere around….thus the quotes). I informed “her” that bouncing inferred more than one move….I left a broken checkout to a usable one, ONCE….was I supposed to go to the back of the line since I had picked a dud machine by accident?!?!…she would’ve done the same thing!!…besides, her machine would’ve still been unusable had I not sent someone to fix it…I had saved the day by having it fixed.

Wow! How arrogant and unmerciful!! Might as well have not bothered to apologize. I really DIDN’T do what God had asked of me.
“What is mercy? There are several Hebrew words that are associated with God’s mercy:
Kapporeth – means “ransom,” “propitiatory,” or “the mercy seat.”

Racham – means “to love,” “to have compassion,” or “to show mercy.”

Chesed – means “goodness,” “kindness,” “mercifulness,” or “loving-kindness.”1
These Greek words are associated with mercy in the New Testament:
Eleemon – means “to show mercy,” “to pity,” “to have compassion,” or “to be merciful.”

Oiktirmos – carries the concept of “compassion” or “pity.” “

I’m not necessarily the one you think of when you imagine one who is full of mercy. I’m more of a tell-it-like-it-is kind of girl. Although, I strive to be more merciful and loving, I’m not often successful because of my tendency to over-tell the truth. I’ve been on this journey for years, but I’ve barely dented the issue. I will continue to receive this lesson from God until I have it down.

I’m so glad He doesn’t go, “well, this one just doesn’t get it, does she? Never mind I’ll leave her broken”. No, He continues to have mercy on me and lovingly gives me the opportunity to try as many times as necessary to get it through my thick skull. I’m so thankful the lady wasn’t around to hear my ridiculous ranting. It wasn’t her lesson to learn. I need to allow people to make mistakes and not expect perfection. I don’t want to be measured with the same measurement I sometimes use. I don’t want to try and reach the expectations I sometimes place on others…’s not possible to achieve.

Thank You for always working on me, Lord. I don’t deserve mercy and grace, but thanks for giving it to me despite my tendency to be nasty and be overly honest. I’m not here to change anyone but me, and that’s not something I can do without You. Continue Your mercy and love lessons until I shine the light of You to all who meet me.

Trials and Temptations James 1:2-18 (NIV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-mindedand unstable in all they do.

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.



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