Love in the Checkout Line

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34 WEB

If you study Jesus in the gospels, His defining characteristics were love, compassion, and grace. He was humble, kind, and He cared for the people. He touched the outcasts and ate with the sinners. He is rich in love. He told us to love one another, and then people would know that we were truly His disciples.

I once read that patience is not our ability to wait, but our ability to keep a good attitude while we wait. To be slow to anger, loving, gracious, and compassionate, while waiting. I am still working on that as well, so don't feel bad if you fail to measure up, as you are not the only one. When I am waiting in line, I begin to feel like my life-force is draining away. There are so many things that I need to be doing instead.

Recently we went shopping for juicing supplies at Sam's Club during a long fast. When we got to the checkout lines, the one on the right had two people in it. One of the men there was buying for a restaurant and had a long commercial flat cart with supplies stacked up about three feet high, at least 75 items, and then there was a cart in front of him, and another cart joined behind him.

The other checkout line had one little lady with three items, so we chose that one and got behind her. Big mistake! By the time we got to the cash register, the restauranteur had completed his purchase, parked his cart, went over and got a hotdog and sat down to eat. The next people in his line had gone through as well. The conversation in our line went something like this:

Cashier: 'You could save 5 percent if you sign up for our credit card.'

Lady: 'Oh yes, I have been meaning to get one of those.'

Cashier: 'Great! Then fill out this form.'

Lady: 'Ok. Do you have a pen?'

(Slowly scratches on the paper for a while with a pen.)

Cashier: 'I see that your membership is going to expire in three months, would you like us to go ahead and renew it?'

Lady: 'Oh yes, I almost forgot about that. Let's renew it.'

Cashier: 'We offer an extended warranty on that toaster for $4.99. Would you like to add that on as well?'

Lady: 'I guess it is better to be safe than sorry.'

(At this point she turned and smiled at us.)

Cashier: 'Excellent, just fill out this registration card for me.'

By the end, it took so long that I was struggling to not laugh out loud at the absurdity. We had clearly been chosen for a test. I tried hard to bite my tongue and laugh it off, really hard. I could feel something inside me screaming, but as I refused to react, it slowly died.

So if you have to stand in a checkout line today, and the cashier is completely incompetent, and the people are digging through their purse for coupons, and that line has not moved in thirty minutes: Try to smile, be kind, be rich in love, and be glad that you are not the one that all of those angry people are looking at. Though I must say this is difficult.

As a Child of the King, you are carrying the Lord's name with you, wherever you go. People watch you, and your actions speak much louder than your words. Try to live a life that gives glory to God and does not bring disgrace on His family. Do not give His enemies a chance to blaspheme His name as David did (2 Samuel 12:14). Remember that what you feed in your life will grow, and what you starve will die.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I thank You for loving me and ask that You help me love others as well. Help me see the big picture. Walk with me today and help me make the right decisions. Put a guard over my mouth, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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