For those who read my last post, ‘I Didn’t Stop.’ I have an awesome sequel to share with you! Ever since I posted that article I’ve been doubling down on myself and realizing many opportunities I have missed. In many ways it was creating more stress than peace. I believe my additional stress was due to being more aware of promptings that I was not obeying. It was a busy day Saturday and I was in a rotten mood.
I had a headache, I was angry, I was overwhelmed, I was feeling pulled apart. To make matters worse, I took the wrong turn and I was already running late. I did not need a detour! I needed to find some ibuprofen. By the time I got to the store my head was pounding, I couldn’t find their medicine isle and I marched through people like a man on a mission. After finally locating my target I sped to the checkout counter.
When I got there I found all the lines were full. I was standing with a bottle of water and some ibuprofen. I got in the ‘speedy’ checkout line behind a woman with a small basket of items. Then I realized the person in front of her has a cart full of groceries! I found myself counting the items to see if she really ‘deserved’ to be in the speedy checkout line… Absolutely not! Her cart has at least 26 items!
I was feeling antsy, I just wanted to get rid of my headache and I was 3 feet away from relief! “Why God, I pleaded, “do you put all of these roadblocks in my way!? The woman in front of me left the checkout line in pursuit of a faster one as I look desperately for the same opportunity. Meanwhile I had a front row seat to the slowest line in the supermarket.
It turned out that the cashier was about 90 yrs old and it must have been his first day. A manager had to come show him what buttons to push. He was working in s l o w m o t i o n …. Like a tree sloth, he scanned the items and put them at random places on the counter. Some on the left, some on the right… he just piled them up rather than put them into the bags. I rolled my eyes and tried not to let my irritation show.
Suddenly an elderly woman from behind nudged me, “Excuse me sir, could I place these items on the counter? They’re getting really heavy.” This tiny old woman was carrying two large bags of produce and a small pink bouquet of flowers.
At this, my agitation disappeared, “Of course!” I said, as I slid my two items aside and helped her with the bags.
A feeling churns in my chest. “Ask her about the flowers”. Thinking of my previous post, I asked her if the flowers were for her.
“Oh no,” she smiled, “they’re for my friend on the corner.”
Touched by her act of kindness I smiled and turned ahead. I was already feeling better about the stagnant grocery line. I looked at the old man and noticed he had a diabetes pack and a lanyard as part of a diabetes support group. I no longer felt impatient with him.
As I contemplate the man and his challenges, the woman and her kindness I get a funny idea. “Why don’t you buy her the flowers? She deserves them, and if you buy them she can still give them away.”
Before I could resist, I turned to her and said, “I think you deserve flowers. What would you think if I bought the flowers and gave them to you? Then you could give them to your friend! I know it sounds silly, but I want you to enjoy the same gift you are giving. Would you allow me to do that?”
She smiled and with a surprised sparkle in her eye said, “Sure! Though, you really don’t need to.”
I insisted and before I knew it the line is clear for checkout. I added the flowers to my things and the old woman nervously peered at the register, “Oh dear, how much are they?” The register reads $4.95. “Oh good” she said, “that’s what I thought.” 🙂
I looked at the cashier with a deeper sense of love, realizing that he had challenges I could not begin to understand. After I paid for my items I took the flowers and give them to the woman. “These are for you! Now… what is your name?”
“Thank you!,” she laughed, “My name is Lavon”
“NO WAY!? Ha ha!” I laughed, “that is my wife’s name!”
“Really!?” she says, “how wonderful!” we both smile and I am so elated I march out of that store without a care in the world! People waiting in line must have thought I was crazy, but in my mind I just bought my wife flowers. 🙂 God gave me this experience to confirm something I have always believed to be true.
Who knew that buying flowers for an old woman in a checkout line could render such a memorable experience?! I left the store with a priceless gift. I went shopping for ibuprofen and found joy. I gained a beautiful story to share with all of you!
As I contemplate all the events God placed in my way to make this possible, I cannot write it off as coincidence. Lavon is not a common name. All those stumbling blocks, barriers and delays were actually stepping stones to prepare me to receive a gift! What are your stumbling blocks? Maybe those annoyances are God’s way of preparing you to receive his gifts?
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Wishing you a wonderful day… Sincerely,