The elderly gentlemen in the self-checkout lane appeared to struggle with bagging his groceries. He was methodical and very slow. In response to the subtle, but yet perceptible frustration of the lady next in line and in front of me, he placed the divider bar behind his groceries. The lady took the cue. She efficiently rang up her groceries, bagged them, and squeezed past the man. She was quickly on her way again.
We have all been there and can relate to this scene. In my younger years, I would have been discreetly rolling my eyes and cursing my bad luck to pick the slowest line. Life can be one busy obligation after another with places to go, things to do, and people to meet. Interruptions and delays are not welcomed in over-scheduled days.
Now that my husband is semi-retired and our boys are on their own, life isn’t so crazy. My days are still full, but there is much more flexibility in my schedule. Impatient tendencies can creep back in, but refreshing grace abounds more so. (Besides, I find that I can be the one who is slowing down the line!)
Situations like the grocery store scene always remind me of Proverbs 3:27. The words are a clear command from Scripture. Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Our importance, our schedules, and our busyness do not exempt us from doing good. We are to judge the need rather than the person. There are no limitations on the good we are to do. The good doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, just a simple act of love for that given moment in time.
The man was still finishing up when it was my turn to check out. I approached him with a smile, offered my help, and then wished him a good day as he went on his way. It didn’t take much effort on my part, but it sure felt good to act.
We all have the power to act with kindness, a smile, and an extra dose of patience for those around us, wherever we find ourselves. What good do you have to offer to someone in need? More importantly, what good are you holding back? God gives us the opportunities and His goodness to share with others. It is a responsibility, a privilege, a blessing, and sometimes a sacrifice to act. Done in the power of God’s love, joy results!
1 John 2:5
But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: