Trying to be Like Jesus (When You Really Want to Ram a Shopping Cart Into the Wall)

Yesterday I ventured into The-Department-Store-That-Is-Not-Target (you know the one). Generally, I like to avoid said department store, but I especially like to avoid it during November 26-December 31.

Yesterday, I remembered why.

a little light shopping by iboy_daniel . Shared under a Creative Commons License.

I guess I should thank the department store for giving me the opportunity to work on my spiritual maturity. Topics covered in today’s lesson: patience, integrity, and more patience.

First heaping helping of patience was delivered while waiting in a line that was:

  1. approximately ten miles long (Okay, I exaggerate…more like 8.65 miles long)
  2. moving very slowly in proportion to the actual amount of items people had in their baskets

As tradition goes, the shopper in front of me HAD to have a price check. I started thinking really mean thoughts about those fuzzy green pajamas that were ringing up for $7 when they were supposed to be only $4. I was trying my darndest to suppress the sighs that were welling up inside me. I once even considered curling up in the shopping cart with The Youngest who was fast asleep in a really uncomfortable position (proving that the human body will protect itself by completely shutting down when in areas of imminent danger, like loud, overcrowded, germ-infested department stores).  Instead, I tried to take the high road. It was ha-a-a-a-rd, but I tried not to act like the hoards of idiots that people in retail are always ranting about.

One of the reasons we were there in the first place is because The Eldest had purchased a small gift for her dad. We weren’t entirely certain how much it cost because the UPC sticker was missing (it was missing on every, single one that we picked up). I assumed the cashier would either know the correct amount and enter it manually (since this was probably a common occurence given the fact that every single item was missing a UPC), or she would end up doing a price check and I would become the object of loathing for those hoards of idiots that I mentioned earlier.

I was so tired and ready to go home that I didn’t even think about that item once she was totaled the purchase. As we were leaving, The Eldest asked what she owed me, so we looked over the reciept.

I think you know what lesson #2 was.

UGH! We checked it like ten times, and the cashier had clearly just thrown it in our bags and not even bothered to try to find a price for it. She did the easy thing and just gave us a freebie. This was the point where I seriously was ready to ram my shopping cart into the wall. I couldn’t go back to the cashier because her line was still approximately 8.24 miles long. The customer service line was ridiculous, so the only option was to find another line and get in it. Ugggggggggghhhhhh.

I had  to do something. One–it was a prime opportunity to teach my kid about having integrity (even when it costs you time and causes your blood pressure to rise). Two–I’ve always been a stickler about uncharged items. Once I had to backtrack like ten miles when I discovered that the guy at the Dollar Tree had not charged me for one item. It made me CRAZY that I was spending more than $1 worth of gasoline to correct someone else’s mistake, but still….

If I was smart, I would have just left the unpaid item and told The Eldest that we would get one later. But I didn’t. Instead we stood in line for another whopping twenty minutes (lesson #3–MORE patience). My attitude was craptastic by then, but I was still trying to keep it under wraps. I did, at moments, feel like Dr. Bruce Banner trying to suppress The Hulk, but I managed. Of course, by the time I got home (did I mention that it was a 50 minute drive home?), I was definitely starting to get rather Hulkish.

So, thanks The-Department-Store-That-Is-Not-Target, for the opportunity to practice my Jesus skillz. I think I need a little more work on the “loving your neighbor” skillz because I was totally glaring at the cashier and the lady with the fuzzy, green, price-checkable p.j.’s.

Let’s hope I do better today. Just in case, I will definitely be avoiding department stores.

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8 Responses to Trying to be Like Jesus (When You Really Want to Ram a Shopping Cart Into the Wall)

  1. Jessica says:

    I SO would have taken the freebie. I’m not patient enough to care about standing in another line. And, besides, maybe it was God’s way of blessing you! 😀

  2. Before you start patting yourself on the back, lets put things in perspective. Over thirty thousand (30,000) people die everyday from starvation and preventable diseases. There are over 13 million orphans in the world. I’m not even going to mention those 2 billion who have never heard the Gospel (that’s one third of the world). You’re talking about being inconvenienced? Something is wrong with this picture. “Trying to be like Jesus.” I’m afraid Jesus would not be talking about himself. His focus would be on others. Read the much quoted John 3:16 to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

    Ken & Maggie

    • Megan says:

      Wow, dude.

      First of all, if you actually read my blog, you might know that I try to write with a particular brand of humor and/or sarcasm, and am in no way claiming to be like Jesus because I had a particularly crazy day at the store. It’s called comic relief. We like to giggle about stupid things. It’s actually good for the soul; give it a try!

      Secondly, if you read my blog you would know that I do have a heart for the orphaned, the poor and the unsaved. I won’t bother explaining the various ways I’m involved in helping those people groups because I don’t want to sound like I’m exalting myself any more than you think I already am.

      Thirdly, as a Bible-believing born-again Christian, I do know about the true meaning of Christmas, but thanks for checking! 🙂

      And in conclusion, (just for kicks) I would like to respectfully disagree with your point that Jesus did not talk about himself though, I am in no way using these verses to justify talking about myself. Most blogs are actually online journals where you share bits and pieces of your life experiences with readers; that generally requires talking about yourself on occasion.

      But back to the verses… You might take a peek at: John 4: 25-27, John 6: 48, John 6:51, John 11:25-26, John 12:26, John 12: 32-33, John 13:13, John 14:6, John 14:11, John 15:1….and that’s just limiting ourselves to John.
      I apologize if you misunderstood my intent. I can tell that you are burdened for the things of this world that God wants us to be burdened for, and that’s great…just be sure that you aren’t reading something out-of-context before typing out bitter words in a stranger’s comment box.
      Merry Christmas! 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    I was laughing, but I am afraid to say why. As long as there are people dying, there should be no comic relief.

    Oh my.

  4. Christ's Company says:

    Maybe my comment was projected more to me. Almost daily I meet and hear about individuals like the story below who seem to grasp the true meaning of giving. It is correct that we needed to laugh, especially at ourselves, yet maybe God has summoned us to a much higher calling. Forgive me if I offended you.

    Chinese Judge Astounded by Christian’s Love

    During a year of intense persecution for the house churches in China in 1983, an elderly Christian widow named Chen Meiying, along with her son and daughter-in-law, lived in central Henan Province. The old woman often prayed in Jesus’ Name for sick people, and many recovered. One day a very sick man was brought to their home. He was already knocking at death’s door, but the family couldn’t turn down the opportunity to minister God’s Word to the man and pray for his recovery. The man couldn’t sit upright, so he was carried into the house and laid upon a bed. Just a few minutes later, right in the middle of their prayers, the man died!

    In China if someone dies while under your care, you are held responsible. When the dead man’s non-Christian family heard what had happened they lodged a complaint with the police. The mother, daughter, and son-in-law were all arrested and charged with murder! According to the law, someone would need to be put to death to atone for the death of the man.

    The day finally came for the three Christians to appear in court in Pingdingshan City. News of the trial had spread far and wide, and hundreds of people packed out the courtroom. Some came eager to see the Christians punished, others came out of curiosity, while many believers came to pray for their brethren. Since their arrest the three had been held in separate cells and had no opportunity to communicate with each other. Chen Meiying appeared first before the judge. Instead of pleading for clemency, she amazed everyone by confidently proclaiming, “Judge, I am the one you should hold guilty for the man’s death. He came to my house and he died while I was praying for him. I am fully responsible and deserve to die. Please let my son and his wife go free – they have done nothing wrong. I am old and have lived a full life; they are young and have much to offer our nation. Please let them go free!”

    The judge and the entire courtroom were shocked. Usually those who faced the death penalty cried and screamed their innocence. That day, the old Christian widow had calmly and boldly asked for the punishment to fall on her! In her heart she wanted the two younger believers to be spared, as they had more years left in this world to preach the Gospel. She had no fear of death, knowing it was merely a graduation into the presence of her loving Lord who had purchased her with His own Blood. The judge called for Chen’s son to be brought into the courtroom. Instead of defending himself, he boldly declared, “Judge, I am the one to blame for this man’s death. I am the man of the house and should be considered fully responsible for what happened. My mother is just an old lady who couldn’t harm anyone, and my wife wasn’t involved. Please let them live. I am the one you must punish!”

    Likewise when the daughter-in-law appeared she too took responsibility for the man’s death and pleaded with the judge to let the other two go free. An argument started in the courtroom between the three accused Christians, as they tried to convince each other to let them take the punishment. The judge didn’t know what to do. All three had asked to die without even having a trial! Nobody had ever heard of such a thing before. News of what happened spread all across Henan Province. It was a tremendous testimony of Christian love and courage. As a result of all three of them accepting the blame, the judge decided to sentence none of them to death. He said, “I don’t believe any of you is the true murderer.” He sentenced the trio to eight, seven and six years in prison respectively.
    Undeterred, each of them saw their time in prison as an opportunity to minister for the Lord, and they led dozens of prisoners to faith in Christ.
    Today they are reunited as a family, and continue to pour their lives out for the Lord, preaching the Gospel, encouraging the believers, and praying for the sick.

  5. Katie Jo says:

    I think you are so funny, Megan. I really enjoyed reading this.Thanks for feeding my new blog addiction 😛
    The-Individual-who-is-not-a-Chinese-martyr
    Katie Jo

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