After an amazing Thanksgiving Day with family I threw around the idea of whether or not to do any black Friday shopping. I had studied ads for a week and there was only one thing I really wanted at a major retail store. The sale started at 10 pm Thursday night. I’m not a stand in line kind of person so I laid on the couch trying to decide if I should go or not. Finally at 10:15 pm I thought I’d go. If I didn’t get the item it didn’t matter but it might be kind of fun to see all the people.
I took my daughter and we drove to the store. We found a parking space and as we walked through the parking lot we saw a lady struggling to get a 40 inch TV into her small car. I immediately wanted to help her so I asked her, assuring her that we weren’t there to steal her TV.
After getting the TV in her car, we went inside and of course, it was insanely crazy. Our mission was to keep a smile on our faces and to be nice to the clerks, to be courteous in everything we did. I didn’t get the item I wanted because the in stock was sold out but I did get a guarantee card that assured me they would ship the item, with the bonus 75.00 gift card, and it would arrive before Christmas. We stood in the long line to purchase the card.
When it was my turn at the register, the lady at the register next to ours had the same exact card and it shut down both registers. You can only imagine how the people behind us began to rant as we waited for managers. I kept a smile on my face and told the clerk it was fine, there was no rush even though the hundred people behind us thought there was.
We finally made our purchase and left. I told my daughters it was neat to be nice to others and show Jesus in a very hectic situation. We got home and I had to register my purchase online so they would ship it to the store. Don’t you know the website was down. In the morning when I could get online, I logged in only for it to tell me that I didn’t have enough money on the card to complete the purchase.
The clerk, in the rush of things, had given me the $75 off and said I could forgo the gift card. It didn’t work that way. I was told by customer service that I had to go back into the super store, load the $75.00 back on it then go back home and register it on line, which would then give me the $75.00 back.
I prayed quite a bit before I went back to the super store because it was irritating that I stood in line the night before and the clerk did it wrong which made me have to drive back to the store to fix it. My gas, my time. When I felt prepared, I went.
Thankfully, there was not a big crowd at customer service. I was happy, smiling, nice. I explained that the clerk was busy last night, it was no big deal. I got money loaded back on the card and headed home. I did great at the store. I was proud. I patted myself on the back. As soon as you do something right and feel good about it, Satan throws you a curve.
I stopped at our local fast food drive-thru for a diet Coke for myself, and 2 drinks for my kids. I ordered. I paid and pulled to the window to get my drinks. They asked me to pull ahead and wait.
Now I’m all for fast service but to pull ahead for three drinks when the drink dispenser is right there is ridiculous. The longer I waited the more irritated I got. By the time the lady came out to hand me my three drinks I couldn’t even look at her. When she said have a nice day I ignored her. I knew whatever was going to come out of my mouth was not going to be nice.
As I tried to cool down I knew the Holy Spirit was convicting me of my attitude. I asked myself this question; Why was I so prepared to be nice at the craziness of the super store yet totally lost it at the drive-thru?
I thought about the other disciples at the Transfiguration. Jesus had taken Peter, John and James up the mountain and left the others below. They were brought the demon possessed boy but couldn’t drive the demon out.
After Jesus came down and drove the demon out the other disciples asked why they couldn’t do it? Jesus mentions in Matthew it was lack of faith, Mark recorded that they needed to pray more and John doesn’t mention the question but proceeds to tell us the disciples began to argue about who would be the greatest. Lack of faith, need of prayer, who is the greatest? Jesus was not the center. He wasn’t even in their site.
When I walked into that store I was focused on Christ, ready for the battle, showing Him to others. When I walked out, I was proud. I started to pat myself on the back thinking that I did so well and as those thoughts ran through my head, my eyes went off Jesus and were on me which made the drive-thru a disaster.
We have to make sure to always keep Jesus first no matter what situation we are in or where we are. Whether it’s something as big as a crowded Black Friday sale or something as small as getting a diet Coke at a drive-thru. Show Jesus to everyone.