Archive for April, 2011

A+ Attitude

April 25, 2011

I encountered Crystal again early last Saturday morning when I shopped at  the Safeway store where she works. When I approached her checkout station she smiled and said “It’s great to see you. How have you been?” She seemed genuinely happy to see me. Every time I’m at this Safeway I make sure to get in her checkout line. I’m always impressed by her upbeat demeanor, efficiency, and professionalism.

As Crystal was scanning my items I noticed that two of them did not ring up 2 for the price of 1 (which is why I selected them). I explained this to Crystal. She said, “I understand. Why don’t we walk over there together and check this out.” Wow, I thought. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cashier take such a personal interest in rectifying a problem without getting an “attitude.”  Sure enough she saw the sign and mentioned (very nicely) to a fellow worker in that department that for some reason, the product was not ringing up the sale price. When we returned to her registry, she explained to me how she was going to ring up the product and that I would see the deduction at the end of the bill.

During our time together I found out she had a legacy of a praying mother like I do. We talked about the difference our mothers had made in our lives. Later I asked her, “How long have you worked for Safeway?”  She said, “This year it’s 25 years.” I asked, “Did you get anything special for your length of service?”  Crystal answered, “Yes, I got to choose a gift from a catalog. But you know what? It wouldn’t matter to me if I didn’t get anything, because I am so thankful to have a job.” All I could think was, What an excellent attitude! No sense of entitlement here or I’m doing the company a favor by coming to work every day.

When she finished with me and was on to the next customer, Crystal asked, “Can you wait a moment, I want to share something with you.” I said sure. When she graciously said good bye to the next customer and no one else was in line she said to me. “I decided a long time ago, not to sweat the small stuff. Life is too short. And even if I’m right and the other person is wrong, I let that go too.”

I had my sermon in word and action for the day.

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Follow the Leader

April 11, 2011

I spent time yesterday visiting a friend in her new home in an area of Northern Virginia I had never been. She offered to lead me back to the expressway (since we had met at church). I was so glad since I don’t have the best sense of direction.

I lost her a couple of times because she made the green light and I didn’t. She was kind enough to pull to the side and wait until I caught up. Shortly afterwards I saw a sign and arrow pointing to a ramp for Washington. I said to myself, good, this is my exit. I can take it. The only thing is my friend was still driving. Soon we were side by side and she was motioning for me to continue following her. But I kept going on the ramp, thinking, but the sign said “Washington.” Soon it was too late for me to switch lanes.

My girlfriend immediately called me on my cellphone and said: “I know you and you’re not going to like what I’m about to tell you. You got on the express toll and it’s going to cost you about $5 and it’s not worth it. I was trying to tell you to follow me.” I said, “When I saw the sign, I thought it was the tollway I was suppose to take.”

This morning the Lord reminded me of this incident. He whispered to me and said, Cheryl, this is your problem. I ask you to follow me exclusively. I am the only one who knows the best route to get you where I want you to go…and you start thinking and relying on your intellect and veer off the path! How arrogant of you to trust your instincts over the one who knows the way. I couldn’t say anything except, “Lord you’re right. I am truly sorry for the times I’ve gone my own way, elevating my knowledge above yours or anybody else who knows the way. I desperately want to obey you at all times. Please forgive me.”

It all became so clear to me. This habit goes back to Adam and Eve when God told them one thing very clearly and they chose to listen to the serpent who said, “If you eat this, you won’t die. Your knowledge will rival God’s.”

Oh, let me mention another element to my driving story. My girlfriend the day before had given me $5 to cover my roundtrip tolls, so I used that money. Reminds me of someone else. God knew Adam and Eve were going to go their own way, and He had already made provisions for “grace” through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, to cover their sins, mine, and yours. He has us covered, but if I had just followed the leader, I would still have my five dollars. But the lesson was priceless.

April Wisdom Day

April 1, 2011

I don’t know anyone who wants to be a “fool.” I know lots of folks who want to be wise. The “go-to” book for Wisdom is the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. It begins with these words: These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise…These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.

Wisdom for life is free for the asking and for the reading. It is available to every person. Only God knows the best choice to make in considering a mate, job offers, surgery options, child rearing, etc. James tells us that if we lack wisdom (and we all do), all we have to do is ask and He will tell us what to do. This requires intentionality and discipline. It requires setting aside time regularly to read the book of wisdom, absorbing the principles and putting them into action. It requires talking to God and confessing that we need His insight on our issues. He promises to answer when we ask in faith.

A good habit is to read one chapter of day in the Book of Proverbs since there are 31 chapters.  It’s the best way to spend 5 minutes.

Why opt to be a fool when we can all be wise!