"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." ---John 14:6
Friday, August 12, 2005
The Great Shopping Cart Debate
Oh fun! I found another shopping cart mini-discussion going on over in Mel's comment box.
I love those because, truly, it's not about the shopping cart at all. It's about obedience, rebellion, sacrifice and putting others first.
But for now, I'll pretend it is about the shopping cart.
Eleven years ago I was like everyone else. After unloading my groceries into my car, I'd leave my shopping cart wherever I darn well pleased. Sometimes I'd spend 90 seconds trying to get it to stay in the utmost left-hand corner of my parking space. I'd turn the wheels a certain way so that the cart would not roll into any of the cars near it (or mine). So that it would stay after I left and allow someone else to park in that space.
Of course, instead of spending 90 seconds doing the great shopping cart balancing act, I could have spent just 30 seconds rolling it into the designated corral.
Well, at that same time (11 years ago) God turned my life upside-down. Suddenly, I couldn't get away with squeezing my shopping cart into that tight corner. Why? Because weirdly, in my heart, I kept hearing, "Just put it where the signs say to put it." And being from the "Go-Ahead-and-Make-Me Generation," it actually took me around three weeks to finally give-in to that nagging little voice which I'd come to recognize in recent months because I heard it every time I turned around.
So I began putting the silly cart away in its corral, even though that meant getting soaked by rain or having to wait for cars to pass by or needing to walk 11 car spaces down the parking lot. And then the amazing thing--low and behold, one day I heard Joyce Meyer talking about how God had, years before, convicted her about the same thing. How He used the supermarket to teach her many lessons about obedience.
If I had false teeth, they probably would have fallen out.
But the sad thing was this--that same day, I realized that, had the Holy Spirit not convicted me before I heard Joyce speak about the shopping cart deal, I, more than likely, would have said, "Well, that's fine for her, but I'll just wait till God tells me the same thing."
And when I realized that, I was horrified. I so do not want to be like that.
I don't want to wait for two angel appearances, three writings on the wall and a voice from Heaven before I'm convinced I should obey one simple sign. I don't want to be a fleece-laying, I'll-do-it-my-way, prove-it-to-me-first Christian.
Instead, I want a heart that is hungry to obey God and those in authority. And when supermarket owners post signs in their business, may I respect that authority by obeying those signs.
May I put other people first. Not laziness or stubbornness. I want to go beyond written rules and beyond what I'm asked--and move to the beat of excellence.
The supermarket is a remarkable place for learning Life's Lessons. I've learned my share and had my heart exposed there. Many times.
And I haven't always liked what I saw.